European Commission - Press release
European Commission earmarks funding to help victims of Central America floods
Brussels, 28 October 2011 - The European Commission intends to give €4 million humanitarian aid to assist people affected by floods in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua. Some 100,000 of the most vulnerable people caught up in the affected areas will benefit.
"Farmers have lost their crops in the inundated fields, families have lost their homes in high water and mudslides. The cost of food is rising and so is the risk of disease. We worry about the most exposed to hunger, poverty and extreme weather. We are moving to help them cope with a growing humanitarian crisis," said Kristalina Georgieva, the European Commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis response.
The funding will provide the people at risk with food and medical care, shelter, clean water and sanitation. Some of it will be invested in disaster risk reduction measures to mitigate the impact of future floods. The priorities will be implemented through the Commission humanitarian partners.
The European Commission has deployed a civil protection team to El Salvador, where the impact of the floods is greatest. The Commission will also provide additional civil protection aid in the country – the European assistance requested by the authorities will be distributed through the European Civil Protection Mechanism.
The funding decision comes in response to inspections carried out earlier this month by the Commission's humanitarian experts in flood-hit areas of Guatemala and El Salvador.
Heavy rains broke over the region on 10th October, caused by a tropical depression. The worst-hit areas are in Guatemala and El Salvador but Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama were also affected.
At least 105 people have been reported dead, with another 650,000 affected. More than 90,000 people have been evacuated and 50,000 are living in around 400 temporary shelters. Significant damage has been caused to infrastructure and agriculture. Many areas are still inaccessible and the rain continues, making it difficult to fully appraise the extent of the damage.
The European Commission has provided more than €18.5 million in Central America since last year, helping hundreds of thousands of people affected by floods, hurricanes, health threats and droughts.
For more information
Commissioner Georgieva's website:
The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:
David Sharrock (+32 2 296 89 09)
Irina Novakova (+32 2 295 75 17)