UN calls for USD 415mn urgent fund to help Nepal quake victims
The United Nations has appealed for an urgent USD-415-million fund for Nepal to help the survivors of the recent devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake.
UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal Jamie McGoldrick said on Wednesday that the quake-stricken Nepalese people are in dire need of shelter, water, food and medical care, adding that the “timing of the intervention remains of the essence.”
Nepalese people are lining up for relief aid from an Indian Air Force helicopter in Gorkha, April 29, 2015. © AFP
The gigantic earthquake, which struck on April 26, has claimed the lives of more than 5,000 people and left over 10,000 wounded.
The UN estimates that some eight million people have been affected by the disaster, more than 1.4 million people are in urgent need of food supplies, and tens of thousands have been left homeless.
The quake, which is the biggest to hit Nepal in 80 years, has worst affected communities in hard-to-reach and mountainous areas of the Himalayas.
Nepalese villagers are seen carrying an injured youth in a basket down the hillside to an Indian helicopter in Uiya village, Gorkha district, April 29, 2015. © AFP
Voicing concern over the “significant logistical challenges” facing relief work, McGoldrick said “efforts need to be maintained and stepped up to ensure vital assistance reaches all the affected, especially those in the remote areas,” far-flung villages and towns.
According to the UN, virtually 70,000 houses have been damaged across 39 of Nepal’s 75 districts. The world body said its partners would provide emergency shelter to 500,000 homeless people, in addition to emergency health care, water and sanitation facilities for up to 4.2 million people.
This handout photo taken on April 29, 2015 and released by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) shows Nepalese people walking over rubble in the village of Sathighar, north of Katmandu. ©AFP
Referring to the magnitude of the natural disaster, McGoldrick stated, “This will be a long drawn out affair. It will be a three-month exercise to address the relief needs, then it will turn into a recovery process and a reconstruction process.”
The World Food Program earlier said that, in addition to its aid operations, it is providing logistics, telecommunications, and air transport, which will cost USD 34 million over the next three months.