In response to the recent wave of intense floods that hit communities in the north of St. Lucia, the European Union is providing €60,000 in humanitarian funding to assist the most affected.
The current EU humanitarian funding will support the St. Lucia Red Cross society in delivering much needed assistance including the distribution of hygiene and cleaning kits, mattresses, blankets and mosquito nets to reduce the risk of vector borne diseases.
“The European Union regrets the damage and disruption to livelihoods the flash flooding has caused and hopes that its contribution to the Red Cross’ Disaster Fund will assist those St. Lucians who were severely affected to get back on their feet as soon as possible,” said EU Ambassador Malgorzata Wasilewska.
The intervention will last for four months and aims at providing immediate support to approximately 1,000 people who have seen their houses severely damaged by the flooding. The St. Lucia Red Cross will identify the 150 most vulnerable families – households with children under five years, elders, pregnant women, single mothers and people with disabilities or chronic diseases – and deliver to them cash assistance so that they can purchase what they most urgently need.
The funding is part of the EU’s overall contribution to the Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
St. Lucia has experienced persistent rainfall over the last two months, which led to saturated soils and floods in the northern communities of Corinth, Bois d´Orange and Grand Riviére. Local authorities estimate that over 5,500 people have been affected.
The European Union and its Member States are the world’s leading donor of humanitarian aid. Relief assistance is an expression of European solidarity with people in need all around the world. It aims to save lives, prevent and alleviate human suffering, and safeguard the integrity and human dignity of populations affected by natural disasters and man-made crises.
Through its Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations department, the European Union helps millions of victims of conflict and disasters every year. With headquarters in Brussels and a global network of field offices, the European Union provides assistance to the most vulnerable people on the basis of humanitarian needs.
The European Union is signatory to a €3 million humanitarian delegation agreement with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Federation’s Disaster Response Emergency Fund (DREF). Funds from the DREF are mainly allocated to “small-scale” disasters – those that do not give rise to a formal international appeal.
The Disaster Response Emergency Fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, it can request funds from the DREF. For small-scale disasters, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors. The delegation agreement between the IFRC and ECHO enables the latter to replenish the DREF for agreed operations (that fit within its humanitarian mandate) up to a total of €3 million.