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European Commission grants EUR 5 million for its 7th disaster‑preparedness action plan in the Caribbean

European Commission - IP/09/924   16/06/2009

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IP/09/924

Brussels, 16 June 2009

European Commission grants EUR 5 million for its 7th disaster‑preparedne ss action plan in the Caribbean

As the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction sets to work in Geneva and the hurricane season approaches, the European Commission's humanitarian aid office (ECHO), which reports to European Commissioner Louis Michel, has granted EUR 7 million for its 7th disaster‑preparedness action plan in the Caribbean. Priority will be given to the most vulnerable and exposed communities. About 300 000 people will benefit directly.

Since the programme was launched in 1996 ECHO has allocated more than EUR 152 million for disaster preparedness. Over the years the programme has expanded to cover seven exposed regions: the Caribbean, Central America, South America, Central Asia, South Asia, South‑East Asia, South‑East Africa and the South‑West Indian Ocean.

"The Commission has long recognised the importance of disaster preparedness and risk reduction," stressed European Development and Humanitarian Aid Commissioner Louis Michel. "My visits to the areas affected have enabled me to see with my own eyes how the grassroots preparedness schemes we put in place can limit damage and save lives. Faced with a dramatic increase in natural disasters, attributable in great measure to climate change, it is imperative that risk reduction be made an integral part of sustainable development policies. The European Union has taken this on board by proposing a strategy in support of disaster risk reduction in the developing countries. It is also backing international efforts to secure the adoption of global disaster risk reduction programmes."

On 23 February the European Union adopted a strategy for supporting disaster risk reduction in developing countries. It is a first step towards establishing a more global approach, dictated by the growing threats of climate change. The European Commission will be presenting the strategy at the session of the Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction organised by the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) in Geneva from 16 to 19 June.

For more information on the Commission’s humanitarian aid go to:

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/aid/dipecho_en.htm

For more information on the Commission’s humanitarian aid go to:

http://ec.europa.eu/development/policies/9interventionareas/humandev_en.cfm

To read the communication go to:

http://ec.europa.eu/development/icenter/repository/COMM_PDF_COM_2009_0084_F_EN_COMMUNICATION.pdf


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