UN appeals for US$415m to help Nepal quake victims

30 Apr 2015 / 00:03 H.

KATHMANDU: The United Nations on Wednesday appealed for US$415 million (RM1.5 billion) for Nepal, saying it urgently needs more funds to provide relief to people affected by a devastating earthquake.
The UN said there was a critical need to provide shelter, water, food and medical care to those hit by the 7.8-magnitude quake that struck on Saturday, killing more than 5,000 people and injuring more than 10,000.
Millions of people need food, it said.
"The timing of the intervention remains of the essence," said UN resident coordinator for Nepal, Jamie McGoldrick.
"Although I am heartened and encouraged by the progress of the response to date, efforts need to be maintained and stepped up to ensure vital assistance reaches all the affected, especially those in the remote areas."
The UN said there were "significant logistical challenges" in responding to such a large-scale crisis in hard-to-reach, mountainous areas.
Many of the communities worst affected by Saturday's quake — the biggest to hit Nepal in over 80 years — are in remote areas of the Himalayas that rescuers have not been able to reach.
Around 70,000 houses have been destroyed and another 530,000 damaged across 39 of Nepal's 75 districts, the UN said.
"This will be a long drawn out affair. It will be a three-month exercise to address the relief needs, then it will turn into a recovery process and a reconstruction process," McGoldrick said.
The UN said its partners would provide emergency shelter to 500,000 people living outdoors and emergency health care, water and sanitation facilities for up to 4.2 million people. – AFP


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