01/03/2013 - Madagascar, the world’s fourth biggest island is prone to cyclones and tropical storms, particularly during the rainy season between January and April. This year saw the strongest tropical cyclone so far, Haruna hit the south-west coast of the island on 22 February killing more than 24 people, affecting around 23,000 more, that are in direct need of humanitarian assistance. The cyclone caused and causing damage or destruction to 20% of the buildings and at least 10,000 people are temporarily without shelter. Some areas of the island are still under water and are only accessible by air or boat.
To provide an immediate assistance to this natural disaster the European Commission has allocated €200 000 from its World-Wide Decision on Humanitarian Aid and is looking for further possibilities to increase the funding. This support will provide the most vulnerable with life-saving assistance such as water, hygiene and sanitation facilities, and shelter. The Commission's support will reach the most affected victims through humanitarian partners working on the ground.
In 2012 the European Commission assisted Madagascar with €1 million in emergency aid in response to the cyclone "Giovanna" and tropical storm "Irina", which killed more than 100 people and severely affected close to 310,000 people. Madagascar also benefits from the European Commission disaster preparedness programme for Southern Africa known as "DIPECHO". Since 2010 the Commission has allocated €5 million from this programme to prepare the population and national authorities for future disasters and develop an adequate system for responding to them.