Ease supply of petro products and goods: AIN

Kathmandu, October 8

With the ongoing protest in the Tarai which has been taking place for the last two months and the unofficial economic blockade imposed by India, the Valley has been reeling under severe shortage of petroleum products and other essential commodities. Most businesses have shut shop due to lack of fuel.

Even schools have been bearing the brunt of the shortage and there is a danger that the Valley and other affected areas could run short of medical supplies. Transportation services too have been sporadic. Against this backdrop, the Association of International NGOs (AIN) today released a statement asking the concerned authorities to do the needful to ease the supply of fuel and goods.

It has mentioned that international humanitarian organisations are concerned that the present acute shortage of fuel in the country has started to have serious consequences on humanitarian work meant for people affected by the earthquake.

INGOs working in earthquake affected areas have had to limit their activities to the strict minimum, it mentioned. If the situation does not improve soon, it will affect the people already struck by the earthquake and especially those living in high altitude, who may not receive support on time as temperatures get colder, AIN warned. The fuel crisis is already having a negative impact on the availability of food supplies and other basic commodities in these areas, the statement reads.

It further notes that important monitoring and technical support visits have been reduced or cancelled altogether, including health monitoring visits to those impacted by the earthquake. “This will have an impact on programme quality, accountability and implementation and on the lives and livelihoods of communities.”

Internationally-agreed humanitarian principles must be respected, especially with respect to access, it stated. The AIN, through the statement has appealed to the government and other concerned parties to immediately act on the situation with regards to populations in earthquake affected areas. Similar situations elsewhere have led to the opening of humanitarian corridors and airlifts of fuel — such measures need to be put in place as soon as possible to ensure that essential relief and recovery supplies become available and so that urgent humanitarian activities continue unhampered, it added.