As part of the ongoing cooperation between Germany and Nepal in containing the rapid surge of COVID-19 infections, Germany has supported Nepal with 112 ventilators, 2,068,500 K95 masks, 29,000 pulse oximeters, 34,030,000 surgical masks, five isolation centre tents, 400 gum boots, 25,000 litres of hand disinfectants, and others items.

The first part of the shipment arrived today in Nepal and the materials were handed over to Minister of Health and Population Sher Bahadur Tamang, by German Ambassador to Nepal Roland Schäfer at Tribhuvan International Airport.

Ambassadors of the Delegation of the European Union, France and Finland were also present on the occasion.

Speaking on the occasion, Minister Tamang conveyed the gratitude of the Government and people of Nepal to the Government and people of Germany for their generous support, according to a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Hailing the German medical cooperation as a gesture befitting the longstanding Nepal-Germany friendship, Minister Tamang stated that the materials would be critical in containing the surge of COV- ID-19 cases and treatment of affected people. German Ambassador Schäfer said this support was part of a bigger European effort, according to a press release issued by the German Embassy.

"I am grateful to the European Civil Protection Mechanism for ensuring coordination amongst all EU member states and for organising our transport logistics. And I am confident that here in Nepal, through the Nepali tracking system eLMIS, these goods will reach the places in Nepal where they are really needed", Ambassador Schäfer, said.

In recent weeks, Nepal has received a series of shipments from EU member states (Spain, Finland, France and Belgium) and more are to come. The shipment from Germany is also facilitated through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism in response to the Government of Nepal's call for support.

"We also need more vaccines, to make us all safe. The EU has already exported 240 million doses to 90 countries, which is about as much as we have used within the EU. And the European industrial partners have committed to deliver 1.3 billion doses of vaccines before the end of 2021 to low-income countries at no-profit and to middle-income countries at lower prices. This is the real effect of "Team Europe". Nepal should be able to receive or purchase its share of vaccines by the end of the year" Ambassador Schäfer said.

The EU Civil Protection Mechanism strengthens cooperation between EU Member States and six participating states in the field of civil protection, with a view to improving prevention, preparedness and response to disasters. When the scale of an emergency overwhelms the response capabilities of a country, it can request assistance via the mechanism.

Through the mechanism, the European Commission plays a key role in coordinating the response to disasters in Europe and beyond and contributes to at least 75 per cent of the transport and/or operational costs of deployment.

Following a request for assistance through the mechanism, the Emergency Response Coordination Centre mobilises assistance or expertise. The centre monitors events around the globe 24/7 and ensures rapid deployment of emergency support through a direct link with national civil protection authorities.

In 2020, the mechanism was activated more than 90 times.

For example, to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, the explosion in Beirut in Lebanon, floods in Ukraine, Niger and Sudan, the earthquake in Croatia, and tropical cyclones in Latin America and Asia.

A version of this article appears in the print on June 9, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.