EU provides over €300 000 to flood victims in the Caribbean
08/01/2014 – Responding to the serious damage caused by recent flooding in the Eastern Caribbean region, the European Commission's Department of Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection ECHO has released more than €300 000 to bring immediate relief to those most affected by floods.
On 24 December 2013 severe rains and high winds struck due to an unexpected Low Level Trough System passing through the Eastern Caribbean. The trough caused severe floods, landslides and damage to critical infrastructure and homes in St Lucia and St Vincent & Grenadines, leaving 15 people dead and around 220 000 affected.
The immediate aid priorities are access to safe water and sanitation, health, housing, and distribution of relief items such as hygiene kits and jerry cans. The potential for an increase in water and vector borne diseases, especially dengue, is of concern.
As a major contributor to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the IFRC, the European Commission has agreed to direct €104 834 of its DREF contribution to help bring relief to the victims. The aid will be channeled through the Red Cross National Societies of Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The EU's assistance will support distribution of food and relief items, access to water and sanitation, and hygiene promotion to minimize the risk of diseases. In addition, ECHO has granted €200 000 to the Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO) to restore health services and reduce the impact of the disaster on public health.
The European Commission's disaster preparedness programme (DIPECHO) is currently funding four projects in the affected region, specifically in St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Grenada and Dominica.