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The Commission invests in preparing vulnerable communities for disaster risks

2 men on a little boat in Asia © EU
13/07/2012  - 

Millions of people from the most vulnerable and poorest communities in Central America, Central Asia and the Caucasus, South-East Asia and Southern Africa will benefit from the European Commission's Disaster-Preparedness Programme (DIPECHO). This year, €35 million has been allocated to help those at risk from natural disasters.

‘Building up the resilience of people who face the forces of nature is a central plank of our humanitarian aid policy,’ said Commissioner Kristalina Georgieva.

‘Experience shows that simple measures for disaster-preparedness, like early warning alerts, elevated homes or providing boats, can make all the difference between saving and losing lives, homes and livelihoods. We see disaster risk reduction as an investment, not as a cost: in fact a euro spent on preparing for disasters saves €7 responding to them.’

This is how the new funds will be distributed: €10 million to Central America (Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama), €11 million to South-East Asia (Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, the Philippines, East Timor, Vietnam, Burma/Myanmar and Thailand), €8 million to Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan) and the Caucasus region (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia) and €6 million to Southern Africa (Madagascar, Mozambique, Malawi and Namibia).

The DIPECHO programme seeks to reduce the impact of natural disasters, including floods, hurricanes, droughts, earthquakes, tidal waves/tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, forest fires and storms, by strengthening the response capacity of local communities and national authorities. The projects help reinforce infrastructure, train people and improve local systems for early warning and contingency planning. The DIPECHO programme is centred on people and based within communities.