UN: Aid urged for quake victims largely unmet

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

May 15, 2015-

The UN Office in Kathmandu said on Friday said it has received barely $59.5 million of the $423 million it had appealed to aid the people affected by recent earthquakes in Nepal  .

The window of opportunity to provide vital relief to people in Nepal is closing quickly as urgent funding requirements remain unmet, the office said in a statement.

International search and rescue as well as medical teams arrived in Nepal within hours of the first earthquake but the level of funding received indicates that initial outpour of solidarity is diminishing at a time when beefing up humanitarian interventions is essential, the statement  said.  

Only 14 per cent of the appealed aid has been received so far.

“If we don’t act quickly, the implications will be severe,” said Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal. “We can only expect misery, a crippling loss of dignity and the real potential for more deaths especially in the rural and remote areas.”

The most urgent priority is to provide people with roofs over their heads before the monsoon season starts and achieving this will increase the likelihood of success for other key interventions that aim to assist vulnerable

communities to get back on their feet as quickly as possible, the statement said.

“Our ability to respond to urgent needs of the Nepalese people depends at this

stage solely on the amount of financial support that will be provided,” McGoldrick said.

“We face other challenges, in particular the topography, but we are tackling them in innovative ways.”

General Assembly calls for strengthening assistance

The ongoing 69th United Nations General Assembly on Friday adopted a resolution on Nepal earthquake with 127 countries as co-sponsors.

The resolution entitled “Strengthening emergency relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction in response to the devastating effects of the earthquake in Nepal” emphasised the importance of linking relief with rehabilitation and development from very early on, building resilience and “building back better”.

The resolution stressed strengthening national capabilities at all levels to prepare for and respond to future disasters and integrating a gender perspective to ensure that women take an active and equal role in all aspects of disaster management and rehabilitations.

The resolution affirms the “leading role and the primary responsibility” of Nepal government with adequate support from the international community in the humanitarian response, rehabilitation, recovery, reconstruction plans for the country.

The UNGA also called on UN Secretary General and UN System to continue their assistance to Nepal in ensuring effective coordination of the national and international relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts and through international follow-up initiatives as appropriate.

Published: 16-05-2015 11:13

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