Kathmandu, September 25:

The United Nations and its humanitarian partners issued an appeal today in response to flooding in the east. The appeal seeks $15.5 million to cover the needs of at least 70,000 people over six months.

“We have witnessed the generous response of local communities, who, despite

widespread poverty, have helped affected families with food, water, and clothing

and who have helped shelter the displaced,” said Robert Piper, humanitarian coordinator for Nepal.

“I hope that donors

will also respond with generous assistance to help communities and local government shoulder this load, and

ensure that this humanitarian support continues,” Piper said.

“As it will be many months before these families will be able to go home, their support will prove crucial to stabilise the precarious conditions of the displaced,” he added.

This response plan comes in addition to Nepal’s $102 million Transition Appeal for 2008, currently only 44.5 per cent funded. While the appeal is helping agencies address chronic problems in Nepal across all sectors, the flood emergency has added acute needs to an already challenging and complex humanitarian environment.

Earlier this week, the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund released

Rs 184 million to support priority life-saving needs to tens of thousands affected by the Koshi floods in Saptari and Sunsari districts.

The purpose of the fund is to provide seed money to respond to urgent humanitarian needs and to bridge financing needs from the wider global donor community, according to a press release.

The funds released for Nepal will be provided through a number of UN agencies and International non-government organisations that are part of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee, the primary humanitarian mechanism for coordinating humanitarian operations at the global level.

Activities to be covered by the grant include emergency food assistance, livestock feeding, safe water and sanitation for flood affected populations, emergency health assistance.