EU announces €3m emergency aid for Nepal

Nepal quake

A man cries as he walks on the street while passing through a damaged statue of Lord Buddha a day after an earthquake in Bhaktapur, Nepal April 26, 2015. [REUTERS/Navesh Chitraka]

The European Commission on Sunday (26 April) released three million euros in emergency aid for Nepal, where over 2,500 people died in a massive earthquake the previous day.

The aid is in addition to assistance offered by individual EU nations and the deployment of European Commission humanitarian aid and civil protection experts to the crisis area.

“The commission’s emergency aid will go towards the most urgent needs in the worst affected areas, including clean water, medicine, emergency shelter and telecommunications,” the EU’s executive arm said in a statement.

“I have mobilised all our means for emergency response to help the survivors and authorities in the aftermath of this tragedy. What is needed most are medical teams and relief supplies. I call on all EU member states to join the coordinated European response,” said EU Commissioner for Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated, via which member states including Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden immediately offered search and rescue teams, water purification systems and technical assistance.

Other member states have also expressed their willingness to help, the Commission statement said.

Powerful aftershocks rocked Nepal Sunday, panicking survivors of the quake and triggering new avalanches at Everest base camp, as mass cremations were held in the devastated capital Kathmandu.

The EU has been investing in disaster preparedness programmes in Nepal for many years, knowing the country is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters, the Commission explained.

The assistance has focused on enabling the national health system to respond in emergency situations.

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