The European Union is providing €8.1 million in humanitarian aid for the Philippines, Nepal, and countries in the South-East Asian region to support those affected by the coronavirus pandemic, natural hazards, and the consequences of man-made conflicts.
Funding from this aid package will go for humanitarian and disaster preparedness projects in the Philippines (€2.51 million), Nepal (€2 million), and regional South-East Asia (€3.5 million).
Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič said, “The EU is helping to provide life-saving assistance to those most affected by the impact of natural hazards in South and South-East Asia, the frequency of which are increasing year-on-year. This aid package will also strengthen the preparation and response to the coronavirus pandemic, as well as humanitarian operations. The EU stands ready to assist the most vulnerable in South and South-East Asia.”
In South-East Asia, which is among the most disaster-affected regions in the world increasing the frequency of natural hazards, support is focused primarily on consolidating disaster preparedness and response in urban areas. Aid is also allocated to assist humanitarian organisations in tackling the coronavirus pandemic.
The Philippines will receive funding aimed at increasing food security, access to clean water and sanitation services, protection, education, and shelter for displaced people. A portion of the funding will also be allocated to emergency preparedness for natural hazards. The funding in Nepal will focus exclusively on disaster preparedness operations.
Located in a densely populated region, with over 4.3 billion people and home to 60% of the world’s population, the Philippines, Nepal and South-East Asia form part of the most disaster prone region in the world, with the disasters growing in intensity and frequency because of climate change. Rapid urbanisation rates, multiple conflicts and political volatility further exacerbate the fragile risk landscape of the Asia-Pacific region.
The EU has donated close to €125 million in humanitarian aid to the Philippines since 1996. In Nepal, natural hazards cause heavy loss of life and damage to property each year. EU funding provides support to initiatives focusing on mitigating the risks of these hazards and enhancing the disaster preparedness capacities of vulnerable populations. Since 2001, the total aid funding to Nepal exceeds €104 million.
The coronavirus pandemic is expected to compound the humanitarian situation of what are already vulnerable countries.