Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection

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Saint Vincent and the Grenadines was severely affected by heavy rainfalls in 2013, causing flooding and damage to homes, roads and bridges. © European Union/ECHO/JL

What are the needs?

The Caribbean region, consisting of around 700 islands, is the heart of the 'hurricane corridor'. Humanitarian emergencies in this region often result from natural hazards such as hurricanes, floods and landslides. Parts of the region are also exposed to earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions from more than 30 active volcanoes.

Between 1980 and 2015, more than 20 million people in the Caribbean have been affected by disasters. High population density and growth, inequality and extreme poverty undermine the capacities of vulnerable communities to cope with natural hazards.

How are we helping?

Since 1994, the European Commission has provided over €509 million in humanitarian aid to the region (of which over €353 million were allocated to Haiti). This funding has helped respond to disasters, and better prepare populations to disaster risks.

For 2016 and 2017, the European Commission has allocated more than €17 million to respond to the effects of the drought currently affecting over 6.2 million people in the Caribbean. The relief will help decrease the impact of the drought on vulnerable populations’ livelihoods, food security, nutrition and access to health services.

In 2015 and 2016, the Commission has brought relief and protection to highly vulnerable people from the Dominican Republic who are now displaced in Haiti. The focus is on helping non-accompanied minors, facilitating family reunification and providing primary assistance. It also helped monitor and respond to the ongoing cholera outbreaks in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Emergency relief was also provided to the island of Dominica, severely hit by tropical storm Erika in August 2015. Access to water and sanitation was provided, strengthening hygiene infrastructure and practices, as well as health services, so as to minimise the risk of diseases.

The European Commission funds activities to reduce the impact of future disasters through its Disaster Preparedness Programme (DIPECHO). For 2015 and 2016, over €9  million have been allocated to help people become more resilient and better prepare for recurrent disasters in the region.

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