The EU has announced it will release €15.2m in humanitarian aid to Latin America and the Caribbean to support vulnerable communities.
The aid package augments a further €88.55m in support to Latin America announced earlier this year; and will be focused on providing assistance to the populations which have been most severely affected by both natural and manmade crises.
Around a third of the funding support will go towards food assistance endeavours in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, where a combination of failing crops occasioned by severe droughts and escalating food costs have led to a large scale food crisis. Organised violence is also prevalent in the region. At least 80,000 people, many of whom are suffering malnutrition, will receive support through the funding package.
In Colombia, where violent internal conflict has recently intensified and civilians are subject to armed attacks, humanitarian aid will go towards supporting people who have been internally displaced or otherwise affected by conflict. Colombia currently hosts around 1.6 million refugees and migrants from neighbouring Venezuela; and the distribution of funding will prioritise shoring up resilience for host communities.
Humanitarian aid will also be deployed in Haiti, which has seen socioeconomic paralysis caused by a combination of a growing political and economic crisis; and exacerbated by the ensuing civil unrest. Crop losses and rising food prices have compounded the problem, leaving many vulnerable communities unable to afford to feed themselves; while organised violence has become increasingly widespread. EU funding will support around 66,000 of Haiti’s most vulnerable residents, as well as providing essential nutritional support for around 5,000 children under the age of five who are currently severely malnourished.
Janez Lenarčič, European Commissioner for Crisis Management, said: “The humanitarian situation in Latin America and the Caribbean, notably in Haiti, has been drastically worsening over the last months. It was urgent do address the situation and take action before the year is over. The European Union is therefore stepping up its aid operations in the region, in order to provide assistance to those in need. We are committed to continue supporting the region as long as necessary.”