Brussels, 5th August 2008
The European Commission has allocated €3 million to address the needs of victims of the socio-economic crisis in Haiti. This assistance will especially benefit women and children in rural areas of the country. The funds will cover urgent health needs, water and sanitation services, food security and the fight against malnutrition for around 1.5 million people.
Commission relief funds are channelled through its Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel. "This funding will not only help the neediest people in Haiti", said Mr Michel. "It will also support the country in its efforts to achieve social and political stability."
Instability in the country has had important consequences for the food security and nutrition of Haitians, especially in rural areas. The Commission's humanitarian aid is designed to improve access to food, healthcare, safe water and proper hygiene. The funding will target vulnerable people in most areas of the country, benefiting around 1.5 million people. Special attention will be paid to women and children, who are the main victims of the current crisis.
Small-scale farmers, who have been severely affected by natural disasters and the lack of access to local and national markets, will also receive support.
In 2007; €2 million was allocated to Haiti through a global food aid decision to respond to needs in the South, South East and Grand Anse departments.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. More than 78% of the population lives on less than US $2 a day. The situation has been aggravated by recent rises in oil and food prices.
For more information on the Commission's Humanitarian Aid: