The European Commission has allocated €6m in disaster preparedness funding for Southeast Asia, ahead of this year’s monsoon season.
In May, the Commission provided €7m in disaster preparedness funding in Bangladesh, in anticipation of particularly heavy rains this monsoon season. Now, an additional €6m has been announced to benefit several South Asian countries, including:
- The Philippines, and
The funding will be used for a number of efforts to improve preparation for natural disasters, as well as to strengthen the capacity of these countries to respond in the event that a disaster occurs.
How will the allocation of funding be prioritised?
Because Southeast Asia is densely populated, and particularly vulnerable to natural hazards and disasters, including annual flooding during the monsoon season, which means that a varied approach to tackling these challenges is needed. In Myanmar, €2m will be provided to strengthen the national response system against earthquakes and tsunamis, particularly in vulnerable urban areas.
Nepal will also receive €2m to help vulnerable communities in earthquake-affected areas, and increase local response capacity. The Philippines will receive €1m in funding, with the final €1m building multi-country partnerships and initiatives in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
What impact will better disaster preparedness have in the region?
For the EU, the funding is seen as an investment in strengthening the resilience of local communities in the region, with effective preparedness reducing the need to provide an emergency response in the event of a disaster. Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid, welcomed the announcement.
He said: “From cyclones to floods, from landslides to droughts and earthquakes: natural hazards pose a recurring threat to the Southeast Asian countries… The EU believes in empowering communities to be better prepared in the face of natural disasters, and especially the most vulnerable, who are often the ones bearing the hardest brunt. Today’s assistance will strengthen the disaster preparedness initiatives already in place across the region, while improving the livelihoods and resilience of those most affected.”