Gambia

European Union allocates over 12 million GMD in aid to windstorm victims

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News and Press Release
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Originally published

In response to the windstorm which hit The Gambia earlier this month, the European Union is providing €200,000 (12,053,000 Gambian Dalasis) in humanitarian funding to assist the most affected people.

Funds will help the Gambia Red Cross Society in assisting the victims with emergency support for shelter and livelihoods, such as to acquire food and basic essential items. In addition, emergency health services, hygiene promotion, and psycho-social support are being provided to the affected people. Given the pandemic context, COVID-19 prevention and control messages will be shared during awareness sessions with the targeted population, together with other messages on disease outbreak prevention.

The funds will directly benefit 5,300 most vulnerable people (500 families). Priority is given to the 200 households whose homes were totally or partially destroyed, and to families headed by women, and families with elderly people, children under 5 years, pregnant women or women with toddlers, or people with disabilities.

This funding to the Gambia Red Cross Society is part of the EU's overall contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The windstorm has affected more than 100 communities across The Gambia. More than 1,500 people have had to leave their homes, with many being currently sheltered by relatives. Over 100 people were severely injured from fallen walls and trees. Several houses, schools, health centres, and community seed storage facilities were destroyed in some of the affected villages.

Background

The European Union and its Member States are the world's leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and human-made crises.

Through the European Commission's Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department, the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the European Union provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.

The European Union is signatory to a €3 million humanitarian delegation agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF). Funds from the DREF are mainly allocated to "small-scale" disasters -- those that do not give rise to a formal international appeal.

The Disaster Relief Emergency Fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, it can request funds from the DREF. For small-scale disasters, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors. The delegation agreement between the IFRC and ECHO enables the latter to replenish the DREF for agreed operations (that fit within its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of €3 million.

For more information, please visit the European Commission's website.

For further information, please contact:

Hilaire Avril
Regional Information Officer for West and Central Africa
European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)
Tel:+221 77 740 92 17
Hilaire.Avril@echofield.eu

DG ECHO Website:
http://ec.europa.eu/echo/index_en

Twitter and Facebook accounts:
https://twitter.com/eu_echo
https://twitter.com/ECHO_WAfrica
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