The United Nations and partners have appealed for US$415 million as funds urgently needed to provide vital relief to those affected by the devastating earthquake. The joint action plan, outlined in the Flash Appeal document, aims to support government efforts in addressing the most critical needs for shelter, water and sanitation, emergency health, food, and protection, over the next three months.
A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on 25 April at 11:56 AM local time, creating large-scale damage across the country, including the densely-populated Kathmandu Valley.
More than 7000 people have lost their lives and double that number have been injured in the quake and the tremorsthat followed. Some 70,000 houses were destroyed and another 530,000 homes damaged across the 39 of the Nepal’s 75 districts. Millions of people are in need of food assistance.
In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, the government, humanitarian and international communities have launched a massive relief operation. Search and rescue and medical teams are tirelessly working to find survivors and providing urgent medical care. Safe drinking water is also being provided to the quake victims and food was dispatched for immediate distributions.
“The timing of the interventions remains of the essence,” said the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nepal Jamie McGoldrick, adding “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 appeal reflects both the scale of the needs as well as the significant logistical challenges linked to providing an effective large-scale humanitarian response in hard-to-reach, mountainous areas.
According to a press release issued by United Nations Office of the Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal, partners will provide emergency shelter to 500,000 people who remain in the open, braving the damp and cold weather; emergency health services and medical supplies and facilities are required as well as safe drinking water and sanitation facilities for up to 4.2 million people. Up to 1.4 million people will benefit from food assistance, including the 750,000 affected in hard to reach areas.
Some 2.1 million children and 525,000 women will benefit from protection interventions. “As the monsoon season approaches, it is likely to become an added logistical challenge to provide humanitarian assistance,” saidMcGoldrick. “Funding is needed immediately to continue the relief operations.”
US$ 15 million was made available from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund to jump-start the humanitarian activities on the ground.