Airlift of two cargo planes with 80 metric tons of supplies provides humanitarian supplies to Nepal through the EU-UNICEF partnership.A cargo plane carrying 40 metric tons of life-saving supplies landed in Kathmandu to provide assistance to some of the 1.7 million children affected by the April 25 earthquake.
A second cargo plane, with another 40 metric tons of supplies on board, is also due to leave Dubai for Kathmandu this week. The airlifts are made possible thanks to a €400,000 contribution from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection department (ECHO).
"When a disaster strikes, help is needed fast. The EU-UNICEF partnership has been able to react quickly, delivering lifesaving supplies to those most in need even when logistics are exceptionally challenging. Our contribution will play an important role in helping the most vulnerable communities in Nepal," said Claus H. Sorensen, Director-General, ECHO, European Commission.
To preempt the growing risk of outbreak of waterborne diseases, the planes will be delivering WASH (water, sanitation, hygiene) supplies, such as chlorination material, diarrhea and cholera kits, as well as bladders, to provide for clean and safe water supplies. The cargo also included health kits and tarpaulins, as many families fled to the open space for fear of further after-shocks.
UNICEF and partners are planning to reach approximately 1.7 million children in the hardest hit areas, out of overall 4.2 million people in need of assistance in 21 affected districts.
“UNICEF has been able to respond instantly to the needs caused by this devastating earthquake” said Karin Hulshof, UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia. “These supplies are vital to prevent the outbreak of waterborne diseases, such as cholera or diarrhea, which in this situation can kill children. These supplies ensure the continuity of health services and keep hospitals running. These supply will help the most vulnerable, injured and in need of urgent medical help.”
The EU-UNICEF airlift is part of the €6 million aid package that the European Commission has made available. The EU Member States have provided important financial assistance as well as offered relief items and search and rescue teams through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The earthquake on a magnitude of 7.8 has thus far killed over 7000 people and injured more than 14000.