July 24: The European Commission has mobilised a new humanitarian funding package worth 8.5 million euros to help the most affected communities in South and South East Asia hit by natural disasters and humanitarian crises.
This includes €1.5 million in emergency aid for the victims of the ongoing monsoon in India and Bangladesh. The commission said in a statement that the remaining funds will be provided in Nepal and the Philippines as well as for disaster risk reduction initiatives in the region.
"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,” the statement quoted Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, as saying.
According to the statement, European Union (EU) funding for monsoon victims will be distributed between India and Bangladesh, where more than 500,000 people have been displaced. The situation has affected mainly the states of Assam and Bihar in India and the North of Bangladesh. Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh where almost 1 million refugees live in the world's largest camp, is also affected, the statement added.
The commission further said this support comes on top of €2 million allocated to support several regional disaster risk reduction initiatives in South and Southeast Asia, and an additional €2 million dedicated to Nepal to improve both national and local response capacities in the events of fire, floods and earthquakes, particularly in cities.
The European Commission said it has invested over €88 million to fund Disaster Risk Reduction and preparedness programmes in South and Southeast Asia Since 1998, supporting - among others - initiatives such as the building of flood-resistant infrastructures and the reinforcement of Early Warning Systems.