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Nepal Earthquake: UNICEF-EU partnership airlifts emergency supplies

Two cargo planes with 80 metric tons of humanitarian supplies to Nepal through the EU-UNICEF partnership

BRUSSELS/KATHMANDU, Nepal, 4 May 2015 – A cargo plane carrying 40 metric tons of life-saving supplies just landed in Kathmandu to provide assistance to some of the 1.7 million children affected by the April 25 earthquake.

A second cargo plane, with another 40 metric tons of supplies on board, is also due to leave Dubai for Kathmandu this week. The airlifts are made possible thanks to a €400,000 contribution from the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid & Civil Protection department (ECHO).

The humanitarian supplies will support UNICEF’s response, providing vitally needed aid to 1.7 million children and their families. 

"When a disaster strikes, help is needed fast. The EU-UNICEF partnership has been able to react quickly, delivering lifesaving supplies to those most in need even when logistics are exceptionally challenging," said ECHO Director-General Claus H. Sorensen. “Our contribution will play an important role in helping the most vulnerable communities in Nepal.”

To preempt the growing risk of outbreak of waterborne diseases, the planes will be delivering water, sanitation, and hygiene supplies, such as chlorination material, diarrhea and cholera kits, as well as water bladders, to provide clean and safe water supplies. The cargo also includes health kits and tarpaulins, as many families have fled to open spaces for fear of further after-shocks.

UNICEF and partners are planning to reach approximately 1.7 million children in the hardest hit areas, out of overall 4.2 million people in need of assistance in 21 affected districts.
“UNICEF has been able to respond instantly to the needs caused by this devastating earthquake,” said UNICEF Regional Director for South Asia Karin Hulshof. “These supplies are vital to prevent the outbreak of waterborne diseases, such as cholera or diarrhea, which in this situation can kill children. These supplies ensure the continuity of health services and keep hospitals running. These supplies will help the most vulnerable, including those injured and in need of urgent medical help.”

The EU-UNICEF airlift is part of the €6 million aid package that the European Commission has made available. The EU Member States have provided important financial assistance as well as offered relief items and search and rescue teams through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism. The earthquake on a magnitude of 7.8 has thus far killed over 7000 people and injured more than 14000.


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

Follow UNICEF Nepal on Twitter or Facebook 

Follow UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia is available on Twitter or Facebook
About the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO)
The European Commission funds relief operations for victims of natural disasters and conflicts around the world. The Commission's assistance relies on the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence. The European Commission is among UNICEF’s largest humanitarian donors. In 2013 alone, it provided almost €100 million for UNICEF projects to help children.

Follow ECHO on Twitter or Facebook

To learn more about the EU-UNICEF Partnership for Children visit
For more information, please contact:
Rebekka Opfermann, UNICEF Brussels, +32 2 5050 106,

Alexandre Polack, European Commission, +32 + 32 460 767 000,

Pierre Prakash, Asia-Pacific Regional Information Officer, European Commission, +977 9806 634 809 

Rupa Joshi, UNICEF Kathmandu, +977 9851 054140




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