EU supports earthquake victims in Tajikistan with €84.000 in emergency aid (28/12/2015)

The European Commission channels assistance through its humanitarian partners to the affected population in Tajikistan.

Dushanbe, 28 December 2015 - The European Union is providing a total of € 84.000 in humanitarian aid to the victims of a devastating earthquake that struck the Gorno-Badakhshan province on 7 December.

Over €36 000 will go to the Red Crescent Society of Tajikistan to enable the quick delivery of much needed assistance to the 195 most vulnerable families. A total of 935 people living in households with several children or disabled people will receive kitchen sets, hygiene kits and food. This EU assistance covers more than half of the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) appeal, which is issued by the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Society (IFRC) when a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society requires immediate financial support to respond to a disaster.

European Commission partners working in the Disaster Risk Reduction program (DIPECHO) have been quick to respond to the emergency. FOCUS Humanitarian Assistance, one of the EU's humanitarian partners that are permanently present in the region, is leading the disaster response: it conducts assessments and centralizes the request of emergency relief items. Oxfam, another partner of the European Commission, has reallocated €48,000 in DIPECHO funding to provide blankets, winter clothes as well as hygiene- and other household items.

Background

An earthquake of 7.2 Richter Scale intensity struck in the Pamir region of Tajikistan on 7 December 2015, killing two persons and injuring ten people. Almost 800 houses were damaged or destroyed, as well as 23 schools and 6 medical points, leaving 4794 people without shelter. The affected population is now in urgent need of temporary shelter because temperatures can reach minus 15 degrees Celsius at night and snowfall is frequent in this mountainous area. As access roads were also damaged in the earthquake, many communities remain isolated and can only be reached by foot and helicopter - depending on weather conditions.

For more information on ECHO activities in Central Asia: Factsheet on EU humanitarian and civil protection assistance to Central Asia and the Southern Caucasus: http://ec.europa.eu/echo/files/aid/countries/factsheets/casc_en.pdf

For further information on EU programs in Tajikistan, please contact:

Mahbuba Abdulloeva, press officer at the EU Delegation in Tajikistan, at +992 37 221-74-07 and Mahbuba.ABDULLAEVA@eeas.europa.eu

Alexandre Polack, EC spokesperson, at +32 (0)460 767 000 and alexandre.polack@ec.europa.eu

Daniel Puglisi, press officer, at +32 (0) 2 296 91 40 and Daniel.PUGLISI@ec.europa.eu