EU standing by ready to deliver aid to devastated hurricane communities
22 November 2017
The two hurricanes which hit the Caribbean in September may have left the headlines, but the effects were devastating and are still being felt. For two category 5 storms to have hit the region in two weeks is unprecedented, and the destruction they caused is almost unimaginable - leaving people without water, sewage and sanitation systems; most buildings damaged or destroyed, and the island of Barbuda left uninhabited for the first time in 300 years.
Yesterday in the Development Committee we heard about the difficulties these small islands are still facing. It is not only the immediate danger faced by the population, but also the long term prospects for their economies that are worrying.
The European Union has stepped in to provide important support to the people and economies of the region. The EU Development Commissioner Neven Mimica yesterday announced in a donor conference in New York, that the EU will be sending €300 million in aid that will go towards rebuilding the islands and their economies and strengthening regional structures that will help deal with the impact of future hurricanes. This is sending an important message to these islands - many of which such as Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands are territories of the UK - that the EU stands with them in their hour of need.