Nepal | July 23, 2019

2.8 million Nepalis still need humanitarian aid: UN

Himalayan News Service

KATHMANDU: Two months after the massive earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale hit Nepal, some 2.8 million people still require humanitarian aid, including access to food, sanitation and medical care, the United Nations says.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), temporary shelter, food and livelihood support, basic medical care, sanitation and hygiene and protection remain the key needs as survivors now also face the added challenges posed by damp and cold weather.

“Ensuring the survival of hundreds of thousands of people, who lost their homes and livelihoods in the back-to-back disasters, through the monsoon must remain our top collective priority,” said Jamie McGoldrick, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal. “Timely, principled and equitable relief and recovery are the key prerequisite for any reconstruction effort to be successful. The humanitarian community will continue to support the government in its effort to address the unmet humanitarian needs”.

With nearly 530,000 houses destroyed and another 278,000 damaged by the quakes, hundreds of thousands of people continue to remain in makeshift shelters, including more than 117,000 people who relocated to open air sites. Many of the affected families are also still struggling to recover and rebuild their livelihoods, as seeds for planting and livestock were lost in the disasters.

To date, some 350,000 tarpaulins were distributed in 14 affected districts, but it is estimated that some 43,500 households have still not received adequate supplies or, in some cases, have not yet been reached, said UN.

Material assistance, including corrugated iron sheets, is still required for 44,000 of the 125,000 families who began to rebuild their homes, relying mostly on their own means, added UN.

Aid agencies estimate that more than one million people continue to require food assistance to meet their daily dietary requirements, while 500,000 people need continued support to protect and restore their livelihoods. More than 900,000 people depend on sustained provision of water and sanitation, including 2,000 communities relying on water filtration kits provided by humanitarian partners.

Access to safe temporary learning spaces is still required for some 370,000 children. Provision of relief depends now even more on the logistical support, as the monsoon season began.

“Humanitarian needs are still significant and are expected to persist through the end of September,” said McGoldrick.

“Our ability to address these needs depends largely on the funds which will be made available for humanitarian assistance itself, which is financed independently and separately from recovery and development efforts”.

To date, only US$ 153 million, or 36 per cent, has been received against the $422-million humanitarian appeal.

Quake facts

•    With nearly 530,000 houses destroyed and another 278,000 damaged by the quakes, hundreds of thousands of people continue to remain in makeshift shelters, including more than 117,000 people who relocated to open air sites
•    Some 350,000 tarpaulins have been distributed in 14 affected districts, but it is estimated that some 43,500 households have still not received
•    More than one million people continue to require food assistance to meet their daily dietary requirements
•    Around 500,000 people need continued support to protect and restore their livelihoods
•    More than 900,000 people depend on sustained provision of water and sanitation
•    Access to safe temporary learning spaces is still required for some 370,000 children


A version of this article appears in print on June 26, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.


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