EU Civil Protection mission in Haiti winding down
- Third civil protection team hands over to humanitarian actors
The death toll from the 12 January earthquake in Haiti now stands at over 220,000 people. 1.3 million have been displaced by the earthquake. The EU response to the plight of the Haitian people was prompt and included civil protection (for a complete overview of the European response see Commission Vice President Ashton's website).
The third European civil protection team to be active in Haiti returned to Europe on 18 March. The team's task was to facilitate French military assistance in response to an appeal by the Prime Minister of Haiti to the EU for urgent military assistance with building shelters. The EU civil protection team identified a list of tasks for the military assistance focusing on debris removal, ground preparation for shelter settlements and shelter building. The military assistance supports the humanitarian relief effort, in line with the Oslo Guidelines on the use of military assets in disaster relief.
A total of three EU Civil Protection teams were dispatched to Haiti to coordinate incoming European assistance, carry out needs assessments and support the international relief effort in close cooperation with the UN. The EU teams were present on the ground from 14 January – 4 February and again from 1 – 18 March.
The EU civil protection team has now left Haiti, but EU assistance to Haiti continues. €120m has been committed by the European Commission in humanitarian aid. Humanitarian colleagues are still on site, where the recovery phase has slowly begun.
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism was activated the day of the earthquake and coordinated assistance from 25 European countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland , Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and UK).
The civil protection assistance included urban search and rescue (USAR) teams, medical teams and supplies, shelter and water sanitation. European search and rescue teams pulled at least 30 people alive from the rubble in the first days after the disaster. For a detailed overview of all the civil protection assistance provided, please see the table.
In addition to coordinating Member States' assistance, the European Commission directly deployed a water purification unit and an advanced medical post with surgery. These two projects are co-financed by the EU under the EU Rapid Response Capability. The water purification unit, run by France, was operational in Port-au-Prince until mid-February providing 689,000 litres in total. The advanced medical post with surgery, run by Italy, was set up in Port-au-Prince and treated 727 patients in total, almost all requiring extensive surgery due to massive trauma.
The Commission awarded €4.4 million in EU financial support for the transport of assistance to Haiti. Recipient countries are France (€1.423m), Italy (€1.325m), Sweden (€976,000), Belgium (€300,000), Austria (€195,000), Iceland (€95,000), Slovenia (€38,000) and Hungary (€17,000).
For more information on the EU response:
Archives for the situation