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Nearly 3 mn people in Nepal still need humanitarian aid: UN


Kathmandu:  Even two months after the devastating earthquake hit Nepal, around 2.8 million people affected by the deadly tremor still need vital humanitarian assistance, the UN said today.

Temporary shelters, food and livelihood support, basic medical care, sanitation and hygiene remain the key needs as the quake survivors are now facing the added challenges posed by damp and cold weather, said United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick.

“Ensuring the survival of hundreds of thousands of people, who lost their homes and livelihoods in the back-to-back disasters, in the monsoon must remain our top collective priority,” said McGoldrick ahead of a meeting of international donors in Kathmandu.

“Timely, principled and equitable relief and recovery are the key prerequisite for any reconstruction effort to be successful,” he said.

He said the humanitarian community will continue to support the Nepal 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 1,17,000 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, said McGoldrick.

Around 3,50,000 tarpaulins have been distributed so far 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, according to the senior UN official.

Nepal’s already weak economy has been hard hit by the the April 25 earthquake and a strong aftershock on May 12, with annual growth forecast to fall to just three per cent, the lowest in eight years.

The powerful earthquake killed nearly 9,000 people, injured 23,000 people and damaged more than 500,000 buildings leaving hundreds of thousands of people jobless.

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