Brussels, 11 November 2004 - The European Commission has allocated an additional €5.3 million in emergency aid to meet needs caused by Hurricane Ivan and tropical storm Jeanne on the Caribbean islands of Haiti, Jamaica, Cuba and the Dominican Republic. This brings the EC's total response in favour of the victims of this years' storms in the Caribbean to €9.8 million. Funds are allocated through the EC's Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO).
European Commissioner for development and humanitarian aid Poul Nielson said: "The recent hurricane season has brought some of the most violent storms ever recorded in the Caribbean region. The European Commission has responded to ensure that appropriate funds are available to meet the emergency needs of the most vulnerable people affected by these natural disasters. I am particularly saddened by the scale of the human toll in Haiti, which points to an urgent need to address the root causes of vulnerability in this impoverished country: poor governance, deforestation, haphazard building practices and lack of early warning systems".
Haiti €2.5 million: Focus will be on improving water distribution, rehabilitation of water systems, promoting access to health care, food distribution and agricultural recovery (distribution of seeds, tools and small farm animals). The aid will be distributed in northern Haiti as well as in the city of Gonaives. Echo has previously allocated €1.5 million (IP/04/1120) to the victims of hurricane Jeanne in Haiti. Total ECHO response to humanitarian needs in Haiti in 2004 so far totals €13.6 million. More information on ECHO's existing programme in Haiti can be found at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/echo/field/haiti/index_en.htm
Jamaica €1.2 million: Thousands of houses were damaged or destroyed by the hurricanes leaving some 60,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance. The focus of this aid will be on providing some 4000 vulnerable families with emergency shelter, drinking water, sanitation, hygiene kits and other non-food items as well as with health care.
Cuba €1 million: The UN estimates that more than 94,000 houses have been damaged, and more than 5000 destroyed by this years hurricanes. ECHO intends to put these funds at the disposal of its partners, subject to final arrangements on the ground, to rehabilitate roofs damaged by the two hurricanes and to distribute essential relief items for some 35,000 affected people.
Dominican Republic €600,000: The damage caused by windstorm and flooding was significant in the east and north east provinces. It is estimated that countrywide at least 9,000 families have been severely affected and a total of 40,000 people are estimated to be in need of some form of assistance. This decision will target about 30,000 of the most vulnerable people with the provision of emergency aid including: semi-permanent shelters (roof rehabilitation), medical aid (drug supplies, vector control, epidemiological surveillance) and water distribution.
More information: http://europa.eu.int/comm/echo/index_en.htm