Sumario: 5 November 2010, Brussels - The government of Haiti has requested EU assistance in response to Hurricane Tomas, which is currently passing through the Caribbean region. The request was received in the afternoon of November 05. As a preparatory measure, the Haitian authorities have asked for tents, tarpaulins, mosquito nets, hygiene and water purification kits, and other small items. The European Commission's Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC) has transmitted this request to the 31 countries that participate in the EU's Civil Protection Mechanism. The MIC will collect the assistance offers and coordinate their deployment as needed.
The EU stands ready to facilitate the deployment of in-kind assistance that may be available from Member States, following the rapid assessment of needs, in order to assist the Haitian population to face this new trial.
Meanwhile, The European Commission's Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (DG ECHO) stands ready to respond to humanitarian needs through financial assistance to the Commission's partners on the ground.
The European Civil Protection Mechanism facilitates cooperation in disaster response. 31 states participate in the Mechanism (EU-27 plus Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). They pool those resources that can be made available to disaster-stricken countries all over the world through the Mechanism. When activated, the Mechanism ensures the coordination of assistance interventions inside and outside the European Union. Such activities are coordinated by the European Commission through the Monitoring and Information Centre (MIC). Since its creation in 2001, the Mechanism has been activated for disasters in Member States (like the earthquakes in Haiti and Chile earlier this year, the oil pollution in the Gulf of Mexico and the floods in Poland, Hungary, Romania and in Pakistan).
The European Commission channels its humanitarian aid through DG ECHO. ECHO provides emergency assistance and relief to the victims of natural disasters or armed conflict outside the European Union. Through its partners, ECHO's aid is intended to go directly to those in distress, irrespective of race, religion or political convictions.