Sumario: 6 November 2007, Brussels - The European Commission has adopted a new €5 million emergency decision for the victims of hurricane Felix that hit Nicaragua on 4 September 2007. The European Commission responded quickly following the hurricane and in the days following the disaster a 'primary emergency' decision for €1 million was signed by Louis Michel, the European Commissioner in charge of Humanitarian Aid and Development, for emergency relief operations. However, needs remain and help is still needed. The funds are managed by the European Commission Humanitarian Aid department (ECHO), under the responsibility of Commissioner Louis Michel.
"Two months after the disaster, the humanitarian consequences are far beyond what was initially estimated and the affected people still depend on humanitarian aid for their survival. We no longer see the images on our TV screens, but there are still some 200,000 people who have lost their belongings and houses and are now living in precarious situation with limited access to basic facilities. They lost everything and they need our help", Commissioner Michel said.
The funds will allow provision of relief assistance to the most affected populations in Nicaragua, mainly provision of food assistance, drinking water and sanitation; support to the health sector and to emergency restoration of livelihoods; and emergency rehabilitation of houses.
The most affected areas are in the Northern Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN) and the situation is aggravated by the fact that the affected population in the RAAN is highly vulnerable to any disruption of food production or crop destruction. Because of the destruction of almost all the agriculture and the affected fishery sector, they have lost almost all or even all their means of subsistence.
Nicaragua is also a beneficiary of the Commission's disaster preparedness programme that, according to our partners in the field and the communities themselves, saved many lives during the worst hours of the hurricane.
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