The EU leadership represented by EU chief of diplomacy, Federica Mogherini, the EU Commissioner for Development, Neven Mimica, and the Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Response, Christos Stylianides, expressed their deepest sympathy over the loss of life caused by the earthquake that hit Nepal and parts of India on Saturday (April 25). As rescue efforts are intensifying after about 2,000 people died in Nepal’s worst earthquake in more than 80 years, many countries from around the world hurry to offer humanitarian aid. “The full extent of the casualties and damage is still unknown but reports indicate they will likely be high, both in terms of loss of life, injuries and damage to cultural heritage,” EU leaders commented in a statement.
The EU said that this humanitarian tragedy requires coordinated relief effort, which the block is ready to support. The European Commission’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre is closely monitoring the situation and EU humanitarian experts are already heading for the crisis areas. Nepal is vulnerable to natural catastrophes and every year there are major losses of lives and property. EU’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Rights Protection funds community-based preparedness projects and provides aid to victims affected by disasters. A special support is also provided to the capital of Kathmandu, which is at risk of major earthquakes.
However, unlike individual countries, the EU has not yet been able to specify how much budget support Nepal can rely on. The response of individual EU Member States, such as Germany, Spain and the UK, has been quicker with these countries already pledging assistance and support for the affected areas. Also the United States already pledged $1 million for immediate needs, New Zealand also $1 million and Norway $3.9 million.