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European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations
News article14 July 2023Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO)3 min read

Latin America and the Caribbean: EU strengthens disaster preparedness cooperation and releases €43 million aid fund

Women outside, one woman holding a megaphone.
© European Union, 2023

Today, Commissioner Janez Lenarčič is announcing the release of €43 million in humanitarian aid for the whole Latin American and Caribbean region in 2023. The announcement will be made at the event ‘Disaster preparedness saves lives', co-hosted by the EU and the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNDRR), during the EU-Latin America and Caribbean Forum, a key milestone ahead of the EU-CELAC Summit 2023 taking place on 17 and 18 July.

The ‘Disaster Preparedness saves lives' event brings together representatives from the EU and Latin America and the Caribbean countries, UN and civil society organisations, intergovernmental agencies and disaster management bodies, among others. The gathering provides a unique platform to enhance cooperation and showcase the evolution of the disaster preparedness and emergency response in the region, as well as the opportunity to share key achievements and lessons learnt.

EU disaster preparedness in the region

The devastating impact of natural hazards in Latin America and the Caribbean requires integration of disaster risk reduction into all policies, plans and investments. Overlapping emergencies, exacerbated by the impact of climate change, are resulting in a complex humanitarian situation in the region.

Since 1994, under its disaster preparedness programme, the EU has invested over €344 million through 640 projects, reaching 30 million people, involving Governments in the region and a great diversity of organisations and partners. Disaster preparedness projects supported by the EU reinforce the implementation of the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction.

On the 2023 funding

The EU funding released for 2023 aims to address urgent humanitarian needs across the region, among which those resulting from the Venezuelan crisis, food insecurity, exposure to natural hazards, transcontinental migration as well as the consequences of pervasive violence, conflict and displacement.

Some €13.5 million from the total fund are destined to implement and strengthen disaster preparedness programmes in the region and around €13 million are allocated in the framework of the Programmatic Partnership between the EU and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

The released fund adds to the allocations earmarked earlier in 2023 of €11 million for Central America and Mexico, and €75 million for Venezuela, on the occasion of the 'International Conference in Solidarity with Venezuelan Refugees and Migrants and their Host Countries and Communities'.

So far in 2023, the humanitarian budget allocated for the region amounts to around €130 million.

Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič, said: "For three decades the EU has been present in the Latin America and Caribbean region, strengthening disaster preparedness and emergency response. This support has so far totalled nearly €350 million and reached 30 million people. However, in a region that is among the world’s most disaster-prone and subjected to increasingly frequent and impactful disasters, we must act together to further preparedness and keep people safe. Disaster preparedness saves lives, protects communities and preserves development gains. This is why I am confident that our new humanitarian funding will also help strengthening cooperation and risk management across the region."


The EU has been providing humanitarian assistance to the Latin American and Caribbean region since 1994, in fulfilment of its mandate to save and preserve lives, to reduce disaster risk conditions and contribute to building the resilience of people, communities and countries in the region. The total humanitarian aid funding for the region since 1994 totals over €1.9 billion.

To complement humanitarian aid, thanks to its Civil Protection Mechanism and Emergency Response Coordination Centre, the EU has been monitoring and coordinating the response for major disasters, such as the 2023 wildfires emergency in Chile and the Haiti earthquake in 2021.

The EU also provides situational analysis through the European Scientific Partnerships, as well as mapping and early warning services via the Copernicus Programme. Moreover, the EU supports the set-up of the new regional Copernicus data centre, a flagship initiative of the Global Gateway strategy.

To speed up aid delivery in one of the most disaster-prone regions of the world, the EU inaugurated in 2022 its first regional humanitarian stockpile based in Panama City, which is part of the European Humanitarian Response Capacity. The overseas EU stockpile is used to pre-position equipment such as shelter and water and sanitation items to deliver them directly from the region when disasters occur.