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'2.8 mn Nepalis in need of humanitarian aid'

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  3 Jun 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Kathmandu, June 2: The UN said on Tuesday that approximately 2.8 million Nepali people affected by the April 25 earthquake and aftershocks were in need of humanitarian assistance. Of those affected, 864,000 people, who live in remote, mountainous areas, need urgent assistance, as they lost their homes and livelihoods, the UN office in Kathmandu said. “However, funding for the relief intervention remains insufficient,” the UN said.

Jamie McGoldrick, humanitarian coorditor in Nepal, has said that the UN’s priority is to provide vulnerable people of Nepal with the basics to ensure their survival through the monsoon, Xinhua news agency reported.

“If we cannot achieve this, the progress that was made to reduce vulnerabilities before the quakes will be lost forever and we will have to face an even starker reality,” he said.

According to the UN, over 500,000 houses were destroyed and 269,000 others were damaged by the quakes, and hundreds of thousands of people were still staying in makeshift shelters.

“Some 95,100 people who remain displaced are housed in 374 sites in 12 districts. Providing these people with shelter in the next two weeks before the rainy and cold season starts is a top priority for the responders,” the UN office said.

The UN has estimated that 1.4 million people require food assistance due to high damage to agriculture-based livelihoods. “As the planting season starts this month, an estimated 236,000 people need agricultural inputs, including rice and vegetable seeds. The situation is aggravated by the large loss of livestock, “ it said.

Stating that key infrastructure, including schools, health facilities, access roads, temples and heritage sites, were also damaged or destroyed due to the devastating earthquake, the UN said about one million children were uble to resume classes till the end of May, as thousands of classrooms were destroyed or remained unsafe.

“Some 5.6 million people require healthcare support, including disease surveillance access to medical facilities,” it said. Logistics were also important as the fast-approaching monsoon season was about to further complicate aid delivery to remote, hard-to-reach areas which were among the most affected, the UN said.

“We continue to scale up the relief effort day after day,” said McGoldrick, adding: “A lot has been achieved to date. Thanks to innovative approaches to aid delivery we were able to tackle many bottlenecks, including the topography challenge.”

The UN humanitarian coorditor also urged the intertiol community to show its solidarity and support the UN’s relief efforts in Nepal. On April 29, the UN issued a “flash appeal” to the intertiol community, seeking $415 million to help Nepal deal with the aftermath of the devastating earthquake. “To date, $120 million were received against the $422-million Flash Appeal,” the UN said. Nepal’s ministry of home affairs said that 8,699 people were killed and 22,220 injured after the 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck the Himalayan tion on April 25. (IANS)

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