On Saturday (25 April), Nepal was hit by one of the worst earthquakes in its history. International aid has now begun arriving. The Federal Foreign Office has provided 3.5 million euros in aid as part of Germany’s support. The German Embassy in Kathmandu is providing consular assistance to German citizens affected by the disaster.
There are scenes of devastation in many parts of Nepal: entire regions have been destroyed, while many mountain villages in the Himalayan country have been cut off from the outside world. The Nepalese capital Kathmandu and the densely populated Kathmandu Valley have been particularly severely affected by the disaster.
The number of deaths in Nepal, India and China, the countries affected by the earthquake, has risen to over 5,500. Many more people have been injured, and tens of thousands have lost their homes. The death toll is expected to climb, partly because aftershocks are continuing.
The first relief flights are on their way to Nepal
Nepalese rescue workers have been searching for people buried under the rubble since the earthquake struck, and international aid has also begun arriving. The Federal Foreign Office immediately provided a first tranche of 2.5 million euros in emergency aid. The first relief flights left Germany for Nepal just one day after the earthquake.
On Wednesday (6 May 2015), Foreign Minister Steinmeier announced that the Federal Foreign Office aid would increase its aid by a further one million euros, thus bringing the total volume of Germany’s humanitarian assistance for Nepal to 3.5 million euros.
A German Red Cross and Federal Agency for Technical Relief flight funded by the Federal Foreign Office arrived in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu on 29 April, a few days after the earthquake. The aircraft transported tents, blankets, hygiene kits and two urgently needed water purification units to the disaster zone. With the help of these units, up to 30,000 people can be provided with fresh drinking water every day.
The German Embassy is helping Germans affected by the disaster
The German Government’s crisis unit at the Federal Foreign Office has been coordinating Germany’s aid measures since the earthquake struck. Additional staff have been sent to the German Embassy in Kathmandu, which is providing consular assistance in Nepal to Germans affected by the disaster. The Federal Foreign Office’s Regional Medical Officer is also working in Nepal. In addition, a team from the Federal Agency for Technical Relief is providing outstanding support to the German Embassy.
The Embassy staff and the crisis unit in Berlin are also coordinating the complex search for missing Germans. Embassy staff are working flat out to establish the whereabouts of German citizens.
Over 50 German citizens and citizens of other countries were given shelter on the grounds of the German Embassy during the days after the earthquake. Many of these people have now moved to safe accommodation or have left Nepal. As far as possible, Germans and their families are being helped to fly out of Nepal on civilian aircraft.