The United Nations today launched a $415 million emergency appeal to provide vital relief to people affected by the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the densely populated Kathmandu Valley in Nepal on Saturday, killing at least 5,000, injuring at least 10,000 more.
The joint action plan aims to support Government efforts in addressing the most critical needs of millions of people in need of shelter, water and sanitation, emergency health, food, and protection for the next three months, after the tremor and many powerful aftershocks destroyed around 70,000 houses and damaged another 530,000 across 39 of Nepal’s 75 districts.
“The timing of the intervention remains of the essence,” said UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nepal Jamie McGoldrick in a press release issued by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
“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 so-called Flash Appeal reflects both the scale of the needs and the significant logistical challenges linked to providing an effective large-scale humanitarian response in hard-to-reach, mountainous areas.
“As the monsoon season approaches, this is likely to become an added logistical challenge in providing humanitarian assistance,” said Mr. McGoldrick. “Funding is needed immediately to continue the relief operations.”
Under the Flash Appeal, which was jump-started with $15 million made available through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF), 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, and safe drinking water and sanitation facilities are also urgently needed for up to 4.2 million people.
As many as 1.4 million people will benefit from food assistance, including 750,000 in hard-to-reach areas. Some 2.1 million children and 525,000 women will benefit from protection assistance.
The Government of Nepal, along with humanitarian and international partners, launched a massive relief operation in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, with search and rescue and medical teams working tirelessly to find survivors and providing urgent medical care. Safe drinking water is also being provided to quake victims and food was dispatched for immediate distribution.