The European Commission has today announced new funding of €14.3 million to support countries affected by natural disasters and invest in disaster risk reduction and resilience in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2017.
The announcement comes as Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides is set to take part today in the UN Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction in Cancun, Mexico, together with the President of Mexico and leaders from Latin America.
“The European Union has assisted the Latin American and Caribbean region in all major recent natural disasters, from Hurricane Matthew in Haiti to the forest fires in Chile and the floods in Peru and Colombia earlier this year. We are committed to continue supporting the region and helping communities better prepare themselves for new emergencies, so that they can be more resilient when disasters strike in the future.” said Commissioner Stylianides.
The new funding will be used to build resilience in local communities and support the food security needs of populations stricken by natural disasters. Since 1994, the Commission has provided over €1 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.
The Latin America and Caribbean region is one of the world’s most disaster-prone areas and is highly exposed to natural hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, tsunamis, landslides and droughts.
Additionally, the El Niño phenomenon (including its coastal variant, which consists in an abnormal warming of the Pacific Ocean waters) regularly causes catastrophic weather events such as droughts and floods that cause large humanitarian consequences. When disasters strike, the immediate needs of the affected population include shelters, food, clean water, primary health care, basic household items, and early support for livelihood recovery.