As part of the EU's global coronavirus response, an EU Humanitarian Air Bridge operation consisting of three flights to Lima, Peru, this week is delivering a total of more than 4 tonnes of life-saving materials to humanitarian organisations active in the country. At the same time, the EU has announced €30.5 million in humanitarian assistance to support the most vulnerable in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2020.
"At this critical time, the EU continues to support those in need in Peru and in the whole of Latin America. The coronavirus pandemic places huge logistical pressure on the humanitarian community, while the needs remain high in critical areas. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the EU, Spain and the Peruvian authorities, vital assistance was delivered to help the people of Peru tackle this pandemic", said Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič.
Of the funding announced today, €15.5 million are for disaster preparedness of vulnerable communities across Latin America and the Caribbean and to ensure they are ready to face the multiple natural hazards hitting the region. The remaining €15 million will continue supporting humanitarian projects in Central and South America and in the Caribbean.
EU funding will boost local capacities to respond to emergencies, implement Early Warning Systems and increase the overall access to safe water sanitation and hygiene. In addition, these funds will also be used to guarantee food assistance to populations stricken by natural disasters and severe droughts, and provide protection to communities in Central America where at least 487,000 people are internally displaced as a consequence of organised violence.
Since 1994, the European Union has allocated over €1.4 billion in humanitarian assistance to Latin America and the Caribbean, focusing on the populations most affected by natural disasters, violence and on preparing communities for future hazards. Of this funding, €605 million have been directed to humanitarian support towards South America, including €265 million for Colombia and €109 million for Venezuela.
South America is exposed to multiple, often combined, natural hazards. Climate change has increased the frequency and intensity of these weather-related disasters and has been hampering the resilience of the most vulnerable communities. Moreover, the region is confronted with one of the largest population displacement movements of its history: more than 5.2 million Venezuelans have sought refuge in neighbouring South American countries.
The coronavirus hit large parts of the continent with pre-existing vulnerabilities such as lack of access to basic services, vulnerable livelihoods and poor sanitary conditions. Health facilities and funerary services have become quickly overwhelmed, particularly in Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Brazil and the Pacific coast of Colombia. The pandemic has particularly impacted the tri-border area of the Amazon between Brazil, Colombia and Peru and threatens to infect remote indigenous communities in the rainforest.
For More Information
Factsheet: EU Humanitarian Air Bridge
Factsheet: EU Humanitarian in South America