An aircraft from Spain carrying urgently needed oxygen cylinders and concentrators, ventilators and rapid antigen tests arrived in Nepal, following the country’s request for support for EU assistance to help contain its rapid surge in COVID-19 infections.
The shipment, the first of several to follow from EU Member States in the coming days, is facilitated through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.
The offers of support from EU Member States currently include: Finland: 2.2 million surgical face masks, 350,000 FFP2 masks, 52,500 pairs of vinyl gloves, 30,000 isolation gowns.
France: 14 ventilators, spare parts for oxygen plants, 20.000 antigen tests, 500.000 KN95 masks. Germany: 62 ventilators, 27,500 FFP2 masks, 30,000 surgical masks, 200 body bags, 5 isolation centre tents, , 400 gum boots
Spain: 50 oxygen cylinders, 10 oxygen concentrators, 15 ventilators,124,800 rapid antigen tests, 144,000 FFP2 masks. Belgium: 1 million surgical masks, 2,000 nasal oxygen cannulas.
Janez Lenarčič, Commissioner for Crisis Management said: “The COVID-19 surge in Nepal is claiming more lives every minute as it spreads across the country. We stand in full solidarity with Nepal in its fight against the pandemic. I am very thankful to Finland, Spain, France, Germany and Belgium for their quick and generous offers of assistance via our Civil Protection Mechanism, showing that the EU is a trusted partner and friend in times of need. We are also quickly mobilising emergency support with an initial €2 million. We stand ready to provide further assistance.”
The initial €2 million will support the monitoring of all home isolated cases through tele-health/tele-medicine services and rapid referral to hospitals, as well as national emergency medical teams deployment and the mobilisation of international emergency medical teams. The funding will also procure key COVID-19 equipment and supplies in Nepal, including oxygen equipment (including oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrators), personal protection equipment, home care kits and diagnostics equipment.
TEAM EUROPE and COVID
One year ago today, the European Commission and the High Representative set out plans for a targeted EU response to support partner countries' efforts in tackling the Coronavirus pandemic combining resources from the EU, its Member States and European financial institutions, as ‘Team Europe'. Team Europe is committed to the global fight against the pandemic and its health, social, economic, humanitarian, security and political impacts. With this approach, the EU is showing leadership, responsibility and solidarity with those most affected by the pandemic.
By 1 January 2021, Team Europe had already supported partner countries around the world with more than €26 billion, 65% of the overall response package that now stands at over €40 billion and exceeding the original €20 billion pledged.
Team Europe is also working to ensure global, equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and supporting the rollout of vaccination campaigns, while exploring possibilities for boosting local manufacturing capacity. The EU played a leading role in setting up the COVAX Facility, the global initiative that allows for high-income countries to fund vaccines for low and middle-income countries and where Team Europe is one of its leading donors, with over €2.47 billion. Till date, over €40.5 million doses of vaccine have been delivered to more than 100 countries worldwide.
The EU has been providing humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and major natural hazards in Nepal since 2001, including the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in 2015. Over 50 disaster preparedness projects have reached more than a million people across the country.
EU Civil Protection Mechanism
The EU Civil Protection Mechanism strengthens cooperation between the EU Member States and 6 Participating States in the field of civil protection, with a view to improve prevention, preparedness and response to disasters. When the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country, it can request assistance via the Mechanism.
Through the Mechanism, the European Commission plays a key role in coordinating the response to disasters in Europe and beyond and contributes to at least 75% of the transport and/or operational costs of deployments. Following a request for assistance through the Mechanism, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre mobilises assistance or expertise.