Hurricane IOTA: EU channels additional emergency assistance to Central America and Colombia

Only a few days after the onset of Hurricane ETA in the region, Central America and Colombia’s Caribbean coast were severely hit by the passage of Hurricane IOTA. In response to the devastating effects of the latest hurricane, the EU is mobilising an additional €1.65 million in emergency humanitarian aid to assist those affected. This funding complements the €1.55 million package mobilised for Hurricane ETA last week. The additional funding will address immediate needs such as food assistance, water, sanitation and hygiene services, health, and protection services for the most affected and disadvantaged communities. The EU is also mobilising €2.3 million in humanitarian aid to Central America following the severe food crisis prevailing in the region and compounded by increased violence, forced displacement, the coronavirus crisis and the effects of the last hurricanes. Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: “The EU stands in full solidarity with the countries of Central America and Colombia who have been impacted by this natural disaster. We continue to act fast to deliver essential supplies and services to the populations affected. I thank France for their immediate support to Honduras and Guatemala. We will continue to work in channelling further assistance to the region”. Through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism, France is sending items such as blankets, tents, kitchen sets and cleaning kits to Honduras and Guatemala, following the requests for assistance made by these countries. This assistance comes on top of that sent by Spain to Panama. The EU’s emergency Copernicus satellite service is currently providing maps of the area and the EU’s 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre is in close contact with the authorities of the affected countries. In addition to its coordination role, the EU finances 75% of the transport costs for assistance dispatched via the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.