Caribbean countries to receive funds from EU to fight COVID-19

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (CMC) — The Commissioner for Crisis Management within the European Commission, Janez Lenarčič, says €17 million in humanitarian aid is being donated to address the needs of the Caribbean’s most vulnerable which have been worsened by the pandemic.

“The EU continues to provide life-saving humanitarian aid support directly to the most vulnerable population. In Haiti, as well as in the rest of the Caribbean, recurrent natural hazards further increase vulnerabilities [that are further] exacerbated by the coronavirus. In this challenging time, the EU is stepping up its long-standing humanitarian assistance to those most in need,” said Lenarčič in a statement on Thursday.

From the amount being donated, Haiti will receive €14 million to address extreme food insecurity, provide protection for migrants and victims of gang violence, and increase resilience to disasters.

The EU estimates that 4.4 million people or 40 percent of the Haitian population will need humanitarian assistance in 2021.

“Due to its vulnerability to natural hazards, governance issues and high levels of poverty, Haiti has limited capacity to cope with recurring emergencies. Food shortages, malnutrition, recurrent disease epidemics, and additional humanitarian needs generated by an ongoing socio-political crisis require sustained humanitarian assistance,” the EU said.

Three million euros will go to the other islands to help with disaster preparedness and resilience interventions in at-risk communities.

Since 1994, the European Union has provided €183 million in humanitarian aid to the Caribbean, excluding Haiti.

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