Guyana and Grenada: European Commission approves about €2.2 million in humanitarian aid

IP/05/1180
Brussels, 23 September 2005 - The European Commission has decided to approve an additional €996,500 in aid for victims of floods in Guyana, to follow up on previous decisions worth €1.7 million. A separate decision worth €1.2 million will fund recovery support for the most vulnerable populations affected by hurricanes Ivan and Emily in Grenada. Both decisions will be managed by ECHO, the Commission's department for humanitarian aid, which comes under the responsibility of the Commissioner for development and humanitarian aid Louis Michel

Commenting on the decisions, Louis Michel said: "During a recent mission I have seen how vulnerable the Caribbean islands are to natural disasters. These decisions are going to have a real impact on affected populations by bringing their living conditions up to acceptable standards. We know that it is always the most vulnerable people that are affected most by hurricanes, and experts fear there may be more bad storms in store. That is why we have decided to integrate disaster preparedness into both these decisions."

Guyana €996,500:

The two first decisions (worth a total of €1.7 million) provided for emergency needs: relief items, health, water and sanitation, nutrition and some agricultural rehabilitation for the most vulnerable. This €1 million will complement the previous decisions by providing livelihood support and disaster preparedness for the most vulnerable families affected by the floods. It is estimated that 7,320 individuals will receive help for their agricultural production. About 15,000 families (or 60,000 individuals) will benefit from projects designed to increase their ability to cope with future disasters.

Grenada €1.2 million:

Hurricane Ivan left a trail of destruction on Grenada in September last year. 37 people lost their lives, half of the houses were damaged or destroyed and 60,000 people were made homeless. Shortly after the emergency, the Commission took two decisions worth €1.5 million each. A recent field mission concluded that one year on, there are still humanitarian needs on Grenada resulting from Ivan, particularly in the area of housing rehabilitation and disaster preparedness. These conclusions are even more relevant now, since hurricane Emily in July. This latest intervention will assist hurricane stricken populations by strengthening or rehabilitating homes, and by offering training on how to cope with future disasters. It is estimated that 1,678 families will benefit from the projects funded.