Nepal is one of the world’s most disaster-prone countries due to its location and variable climatic conditions. Climate change and an increasing population further exacerbate the impacts of natural hazards, which each year cause heavy loss of life and property damage.
The EU supports disaster preparedness initiatives to protect vulnerable populations in Nepal and humanitarian emergency interventions in case of sudden disasters.
What are the needs?
Every year, during the monsoon season, landslides and floods result in hundreds of casualties in Nepal. The potential threat of earthquakes, glacial lakes’ outbursts, avalanches, and cold and heat waves always looms large.
According to the United Nations, Nepal is the 11th most vulnerable country to earthquakes in the world, with the capital, Kathmandu, being one of the most at-risk cities.
Climate change also increases the frequency and intensity of natural hazards, such as flash floods and landslides. This adds to the people’s burdens, especially for the most vulnerable.
How are we helping?
The EU is committed to supporting those in need across Nepal.
In 2023, the EU allocated €2 million to respond to natural hazards and strengthen disaster preparedness. This brings the total humanitarian funding to over €118 million since 2001, of which more than €36 million supported disaster preparedness and risk reduction activities.
The COVID-19 pandemic overwhelmed the national healthcare system during the last 2 years. To support Nepal’s efforts in fighting the impact of the pandemic, the EU dedicated a large portion of the humanitarian funding. This included providing essential equipment and supplies such as oxygen, home care kits, diagnostics kits, and protective equipment.
Part of the funding also focused on preparing healthcare systems for future COVID-19 surges. This included the management of COVID-19 cases in health facilities, isolation centres and other points of entry, as well as addressing protection concerns stemming from measures to counter the pandemic.
In addition, the EU and its Member States have urgently airlifted much-needed medical items through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. This included surgical facemasks, ventilators, oxygen cylinders, gloves and isolation tents.
Due to increased disaster risks posed by the climate crisis, EU funding in Nepal focuses on supporting initiatives that strengthen the disaster preparedness of local institutions and, more recently, assisting them in programme implementation. Key priorities include strengthening the emergency response capacity of rural and urban municipal authorities to manage natural hazards such as floods, landslides, fires and earthquakes.
Specific programmes focus on assessing the risk of future floods and assisting communities before they occur. The funding also improves the preparedness and response capacities of the government towards a timely, effective and targeted response in the aftermath of emergencies.
When a powerful 6.6-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal’s remote western region in late 2022, the EU mobilised €200,000 in emergency aid to address the most pressing needs, such as emergency shelter materials, latrines and water supply facilities, among other forms of support.
The EU’s humanitarian aid arm has been present in Nepal since 2001, providing humanitarian assistance to people affected by conflict and major natural hazards, including the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake in 2015, which claimed close to 9,000 lives and destroyed more than half a million homes.
During Nepal’s internal conflict and until 2011, EU humanitarian actions have supported thousands of conflict-affected people, especially in rural areas, by providing healthcare, water, and sanitation facilities. The EU also assisted refugees from Bhutan for more than 10 years until 2015.
Last updated: 11/05/2023
Facts & figures
21,400 people of concern (UNHCR)
EU humanitarian funding:
€2 million in 2023
Over €118 million since 2001