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The European Union steps up support for victims of deadly hurricane Matthew

Hurricane Matthew destroyed an estimated 90% of homes in Haiti's Grande Anse department. The EU has stepped up support with an additional €1.5 million emergency aid for Haiti. This comes in addition to the €255 000 for humanitarian assistance after hurricane Matthew made landfall on the island on 4 October. Photo: EU Delegation to the Republic of Haiti

The European Commission has stepped up its support with a further €1.5 million in emergency aid for those most affected by hurricane Matthew in Haiti to cover basic immediate needs. The funding comes in addition to the initial EU humanitarian assistance of €255 000 announced last Thursday.

EU Member States are offering assistance via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. A team of eleven EU civil protection experts from Denmark, Finland, France, Romania and Sweden travelled to the affected areas on Friday and arrived over the course of the weekend. They are experts in emergency coordination, logistics, water and sanitation, and health. EU humanitarian workers and its partners are already on-site providing much needed help.

France, Spain and the United Kingdom are supplying shelters, water purification modules and other flooding management items. The EU's Copernicus emergency management service is supporting efforts with satellite maps to assess damages.

Christos Stylianides, Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management said: "In solidarity with the people of Haiti, the European Union is stepping up emergency aid at this critical time to save lives. The EU is also providing expertise to help people in Haiti to provide temporary shelters, health services, safe drinking water and sanitation. I thank all our Member States for their help through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism which coordinates a European response to natural disasters. Our thoughts are with all those affected by this natural disaster and the rescue teams helping at this time."

Since 1994, the European Commission has granted €514.3 million in humanitarian aid to the Caribbean, of which €53 million has been allocated to help communities prepare and strengthen their resilience through Disaster Risk Reduction programmes. Hurricane Matthew is anticipated to have a high humanitarian impact on vulnerable populations, especially in Haiti which is a country at particular risk to water borne diseases.

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