Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides has issued the following statement:“Hurricane Irma has left a trail of devastation across many countries. It is our moral duty to help those in need whose lives and homes are being destroyed or severely threatened. We stand in full solidarity with all those in the Caribbean and in the USA during and after the storm. For as long as it takes. Last week we mobilised our emergency response tools and our 24/7 Emergency Response Coordination Centre has been in continuous coordination with our EU Member States on any assistance required.
Today additional EU funding is on its way. We have now released an initial amount of humanitarian assistance of €2 million for the most affected islands in the Caribbean. This will help support key sectors such as water and sanitation, health, waste management and logistics. Further EU funding for reconstruction efforts is of course available in terms of longer term assistance. This new support comes on top of our EU Copernicus satellite support, which has been providing essential mapping services since last week. EU humanitarian experts deployed across the region continue to help the local authorities and coordinate aid deliveries. Let me make it clear that any country in the region can request our help through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. We stand ready to provide any further assistance to the affected countries.”