Kathmandu, August 1:

The United Nations system in Nepal has responded rapidly to the national crisis caused by flooding across the country, and the request of the government for assistance, a press release issued by the UN office in Nepal said.

Rescue, relief efforts and rapid needs assessments in the affected districts are being carried out by NRCS district chapters, in coordination with local government, security forces, UN agencies and I/NGOs. Food, potable water and temporary shelter have been identified as the major needs. “There is a heightened risk of increased mortality and morbidity in the coming weeks and months due to outbreaks of communicable diseases, most importantly acute respiratory infections, diarrhoeal diseases, vector-borne diseases and snake bites,” the release said.

“UNFPA has provided food and non-food items to 1,000 flood victims in Mahottari, including medical support to the district hospital and jail. UNFPA’s mobile health teams in Dang and Kapilvastu are on alert to go to Banke and Bardiya upon request,” it said.

UNICEF has provided emergency supplies, which include water purification tablets as well as flocculent powder to purify water for some 30,000 people in the flood and landslide-affected areas in Banke, Bardiya, Dhanusha, Mahottari and Rautahat, and to the landslide-affected in the Karnali zone. Also, 6,000 packets of oral rehydration salt have been dispatched to these districts through the NRCS and other partners to address the onset of diarrhoea and dysentery that may arise due to water contamination.

UNICEF has also provided tarpaulins, water buckets and blankets for the flood-hit.

UNMIN has responded to the government request to make its helicopters available, and with financial support from UNDP has flown rescue teams including members of the Nepal Army, police, Red Cross, government officials and UN agencies for evacuation, relief and assessment operations. “The UN system in Nepal stands fully committed to extending all possible assistance to the people of the affected districts who are suffering from the current natural calamity,” Matthew Kahane, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal, was quoted in the release.