The European Commission has announced a new €8.5m funding package of humanitarian aid to South Asia to alleviate the impact of natural disasters in the region.
Emergency funding of €1.5m will be allocated from the aid package to support communities in India and Bangladesh which have been affected by the ongoing monsoon: more than half a million people in the region have suffered internal displacement as a result of dangerously heavy monsoon rainfall, primarily in Northern Bangladeshi regions – including Cox’s Bazar, the world’s largest refugee camp, which holds nearly a million refugees – and the adjacent Indian states of Assam and Bihar. The remainder of the package providing humanitarian aid to South Asia will be distributed to disaster-hit populations and disaster risk reduction programmes in the Philippines and Nepal.
The Philippines will receive €2m in humanitarian assistance funding to be directed to supporting vulnerable populations on the island of Mindanao, which has been hit by both heavy flooding and armed conflict; with €1m to be directed to the safe, consistent provision of education and the remaining €1m to go toward supporting immediate humanitarian needs, including ensuring food security, healthcare, water and sanitation. An additional €1m will be allocated to initiatives aimed at building resilience and improving levels of disaster risk preparedness in the region.
€2m will be directed to improving Nepalese disaster response facilities, with particular focus on city operations; while a further €2m has been allocated to support a range of regional disaster risk management and preparedness initiatives throughout South and South-East Asia.
The EU’s Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides said: “The countries in South Asia are facing an increasingly worse monsoon season. Heavy rains and flooding have created a large scale humanitarian situation in India and Bangladesh. During these difficult times, EU solidarity makes a difference: our support will reach those most in need providing water, sanitation and essential supplies. In the wider region, the EU is also supporting Nepal and the Philippines to be better prepared for natural disasters and get aid to those most in need.”