EU to support Caribbean region in the aftermath of Hurricanes Irma and Maria

Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica pledged a substantial €300 million development support package to the Caribbean region.

Hurricane Irma

The European Union has stated its commitment to support the Caribbean region in the aftermath of recent hurricanes Irma and Maria.

The  €300 million development support package to the Caribbean region comes in the aftermath of the recent hurricanes Irma and Maria. Out of the total amount, about a third will be new grant resources for the countries of the region.

“Caribbean countries have again been struck by deadly hurricanes. The European Union stands by the region, and our assistance package of €300 million will provide much needed support to accelerate recovery, strengthen resilience, and step up progress towards a sustainable economic path. The EU is supporting the region to reinforce its resilience to natural disasters and climate change,” Commissioner Mimica said.

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While some of the funds will be used to cover humanitarian gaps in Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, and Cuba, the majority will provide support for medium-term reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts at national level in Antigua and Barbuda, in Dominica, in St Kitts and Nevis, in Cuba and Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs). At regional level, the EU’s assistance will help to build longer term resilience by increasing the region’s disaster preparedness as well as its ability to adapt to climate change.

The Commissioner is also signing a new program with the President of the Caribbean Development Bank, Dr Warren Smith which will support the development of geothermal energy sources. The project will help these countries to reduce their dependence on energy imports and hence, promote clean energy sources and improve their energy security.

Under the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, EU Member States have provided logistical support for humanitarian relief to affected Caribbean countries and territories. This has been complemented by humanitarian assistance worth €2.9 million to provide shelter, water and sanitation, food, logistics and health in Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Sint Maarten, and Turks and Caicos.

The EU has also provided funding for the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNAs) which have been carried out jointly with the UN and the World Bank in Antigua and Barbuda and in Dominica.

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