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Commissioner Georgieva gives updates on Europe’s reaction to the cholera epidemic in Haiti

Commissioner Georgieva during the press conference – Brussels, 18/11/2010
18/11/2010  - 

In a press conference that took place today in Brussels, the European Commissioner for International Cooperation, Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Kristalina Georgieva expressed her concern on the cholera epidemic that is spreading in Haiti and explained the European response to this crisis. As Commissioner Georgieva explained in the press conference, the cholera situation in Haiti is deteriorating. The number of casualties and hospitalized cases has rapidly increased during the last week. Most of the country is now affected. The fatality rate continues to be disproportionately high in many places, particularly in the north. The public health system is increasingly overwhelmed despite substantial support from the international community. In the last week, the Commission has reinforced its humanitarian presence in Haiti with the deployment of new medical experts and the mobilisation of €12 Million, already available for this kind of situations, to support its partners present in Haiti. The European Mechanism for Civil Protection has also been activated and has already co-financed the transport of in-kind assistance provided by France. Aid from other Member States is expected in the coming hours. A humanitarian and civil protection team from the Commission is being deployed in Haiti. The main focus of Commission's action is saving lives through prompt treatment of those affected; increasing access to clean water and promoting better hygiene behaviour; raising awareness among the population and with the authorities on how cholera is spreading and can be prevented; and last but not least, supporting epidemiological surveillance in order to know where and how the epidemic is evolving.