– Continuing its support to the victims of last year’s devastating earthquake, the European Commission is making available € 5.5 million (NPR 660.7 million)in humanitarian aid funding for Nepal in 2016. The funds will be used both to respond to humanitarian needs, particularly in regard to shelter, as well as to strengthen the disaster preparedness capacities of the most vulnerable communities in earthquake affected areas. Overall, the aid will benefit close to 290 000 people across nine hardest-hit districts.
“As we continue to address the humanitarian needs that remain one year after the earthquake, it is of paramount importance to ensure that the country is also better equipped to cope with recurring natural hazards”, said Christos Stylianides, the European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management. “This contribution will not only provide the most affected people with better shelters that will keep them safe and dry during the forthcoming monsoon and winter seasons, but will also strengthen the resilience of communities in dealing with future natural disasters.”
Over one year after the powerful April 2015 earthquake, humanitarian needs, particularly for shelter, remain immense. Across the affected areas, millions of people are still living in poorly constructed temporary shelters that were built in a hurry in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake. The lack of secure and adequate shelters has triggered concerns over the health and protection of survivors.
The new funds, which will be channelled through the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), will allow the Commission’s partners to implement humanitarian projects to address this situation, which will consequently help improve their security, dignity and living conditions. The transitional shelters which will be built will incorporate “Build Back Better” features, making them more resilient to potential future shocks. In the process, hundreds of masons and carpenters will be trained on these resilient building techniques, ensuring they are replicated beyond the actual projects, as part of the reconstruction process.
The latest allocation brings the European Commission’s total humanitarian aid contribution in response to the earthquakes to € 19.5 million.
On 25 April 2015, Nepal was struck by a large-scale 7.8-magnitude earthquake, followed two weeks later by a strong 7.3-magnitude aftershock. The powerful tremors killed close to 9 000 people and fully destroyed over 600 000 houses, leaving several millions homeless.
In response to the devastating losses, the European Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO), immediately stepped in to help meet the most urgent needs of those affected, including emergency shelter, health care, access to water and sanitation, and livelihood support. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism was also immediately activated to coordinate the actions of Civil Protection teams deployed by European Member States.