23/05/2012 - The European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) has just released €5 million to assist people affected by severe flooding in South America, particularly in Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Colombia and Brazil.
An estimated 1.2 million people have been affected by heavy rains and flooding throughout the region. Hundreds of thousands of farmers lost their crops, and many families have been forced to flee their homes due to the high water and landslides. Entire areas are still submerged under water.
"We will support those most vulnerable, those who have lost everything. European aid will complement efforts made by local and national authorities," said Alvaro de Vicente, responsible for the South American Humanitarian Aid Department and Civil Protection within the European Commission (ECHO).
A crucial component of EU aid will be to help those affected to recover their livelihoods and their sources of income. ECHO funding will also contribute to preventing outbreaks of diseases like malaria and dengue fever in affected areas due to water stagnation.
The funds will be disbursed to NGOs, UN agencies and Red Cross societies, who will implement humanitarian aid projects in the countries affected. The assistance will be awarded on the basis of need, and wherever necessary to complement national efforts addressing the emergency.