UN seeks $415m in emergency aid

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
UN seeks $415m in emergency aid

Apr 29, 2015-

The United Nations and its partners appealed on Wednesday for Rs 42.1 billion ($415 million), urgently needed to provide vital relief to those affected by the devastating earthquake.

The joint action plan, outlined in the Flash Appeal document, aims to support government efforts in addressing the most critical needs for shelter, water and sanitation, emergency health, food, and protection, over the next three months, the UN said here on Wednesday.

The 7.9 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on Saturday creating large-scale damage across the country. More than 5,000 people lost their lives and around 10,000 people have been injured in the tremor and aftershocks. Some 70,000 houses were destroyed and another 530,000 homes were damaged across 39 of Nepal’s 75 districts.

“Millions of people are in need of food assistance. In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the government, humanitarian and international communities launched a massive relief operation,” said the UN. “The timing of the interventions remains of the essence”, said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nepal Jamie McGoldrick, adding “although I am heartened and encouraged by the progress of the response to date, efforts need to be maintained and stepped up to ensure vital assistance reaches all the affected, especially those in the remote areas”.  

The appeal reflects both the scale of the needs as well as the significant logistical challenges linked to providing an effective large-scale humanitarian response in hard-to-reach mountainous areas.

Partners will provide emergency shelter to 500,000 people who remain in the open, braving the damp and cold weather; emergency health services and medical supplies and facilities are required, as well as safe drinking water and sanitation facilities for up to 4.2 million people. Up to 1.4 million people will benefit from food assistance, including the 750,000 affected in hard to reach areas. Some 2.1 million children and 525,000 women will benefit from protection interventions.

“As the monsoon season approaches, it is likely to become an added logistical challenge to provide humanitarian assistance,” said McGoldrick.

“Funding is needed immediately to continue the relief operations.” US$ 15 million was made available from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund to jump-start the humanitarian activities on the ground.

US prez, UN secy gen call PM to offer help to quake victims

US President Barack Obama made a telephone call to Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Wednesday evening and extended condolences to the families of the people who lost their lives in the devastating earthquake.

A statement issued by the PM’s private secretariat said Obama expressed his sympathies to those injured and affected by the earthquake and to all Nepalis who are in mourning after the national tragedy. During the telephonic conversation, he said the United States is ready to assist Nepal through all possible means during this difficult time.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also made a telephone call to Koirala on Wednesday to express his condolences to the bereaved families. (PR)

Published: 30-04-2015 09:14

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