Brussels, 16 April 2014
Solomon Islands: EU provides humanitarian assistance and expert support
The European Union is mobilizing resources to assist those affected by the recent floods and earthquakes in the Solomon Islands. The European Commission is giving €240 000 in humanitarian aid to help the most vulnerable people. Environmental expertise will be deployed to the islands through the Union Civil Protection Mechanism as part of a joint EU/UN mission to help assess the risks triggered by the heavy rains.
Thousands of people are still suffering the consequences of the disaster. Our support will cover their most acute needs in key areas such as sanitation and hygiene," said Kristalina Georgieva, EU Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection.
Heavy rains at the beginning of April caused large-scale flooding which killed at least 23 people and left 9 000 displaced in the capital, Honiara, and other areas of Guadalcanal. Roads and bridges have been badly damaged and more than 52 000 people have been affected.
The European Commission will channel the funds through its partner organisation World Vision. EU aid will cover sanitation facilities and the delivery of hygiene kits.
The Commission will also provide expertise in a joint mission with the United Nations environmental and humanitarian bodies, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The mission will help identify risks caused by the rise in water levels and potential dam damage.
The Pacific is one of the world's most disaster-prone regions with high exposure to cyclones, earthquakes, tsunamis, floods and flash floods, tidal surges, landslides, drought, forest fires and volcanic eruptions, as well as epidemics. This is compounded by environmental degradation and climate change.
The Commission funds a disaster preparedness programme, DIPECHO, in the region, amounting to €3 million for 2013-2014.
The Union Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated twelve times in the Pacific since 2010, to support the delivery and coordination of assistance upon request of national authorities.
For more information
The European Commission's humanitarian aid and civil protection:
Commissioner Georgieva's website: