UN for more humanitarian aid

KATHMANDU: Nepal requires a significant humanitarian assistance due to a combination of factors: drought, ongoing civil and political tension, chronic underlying vulnerabilities, natural disaster and by global economic, fuel and food crises of the recent times, says a United Nation’s report.

The mid-year review report publicised by the UN on the eve of the First World Humanitarian Day (August 19) further states that the drought and economic damage inflicted by strikes, global financial crisis and skyrocketing fuel and food prices since 2008 have plunged the country into a “silent emergency”.

“In Nepal, high risk and vulnerability to hazards such as earthquakes, floods and landslides aids to the humanitarian challenge and calls for immediate action to alleviate the impact of sudden- onset emergencies,” the report adds.

As of May 2009, 3.4 million people were highly food insecure and in dire need of assistance. The UN has pointed the 11 sectors which need to get high priority in Nepal are health, nutrition, food security, water sanitation and hygiene, education, protection, shelter, camp coordination and camp management, refugees, disaster preparedness and coordination.

According to the UN report, 500,000 people, mainly in the far and mid-western regions, require immediate food assistance up to the next harvest in October/November. Climate change is also expected to dramatically affect patterns of the migration and population movement. Many families are expected to be displaced by the prolonged droughts and repeated floods or storms.

The UN General Assembly has chosen to dedicate August 19 to honour all humanitarian workers those serving in various parts of the globe.