UN releases $15 million emergency aid for quake-hit Nepal

Geneva: The UN on Tuesday released $15 million as emergency aid for quake-hit Nepal to "scale up" the rescue operations in the country which is facing an acute shortage of food, water, electricity and medicines.

"I have just allocated $15 million for Nepal from the UN's emergency fund UNCERF so that aid agencies can rapidly scale up and save lives," tweeted Valerie Amos, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs.

UN agencies are coordinating international efforts and are working with partners in Nepal, including the government, to ensure the aid reaches to the affected people.

 UN releases  million emergency aid for quake-hit Nepal

Reuters

"This is a race against time. It's also a race against a moving target in the sense that we still do not have a full assessment of  the needs and requirements in the rural areas outside of Kathmandu," said Jens Laerke, spokesperson for the Office of the Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

"An airlift of UNHCR relief supplies is arriving in Kathmandu from our warehouse in Dubai, These supplies will boost the aid we have already deployed to our earthquake-affected areas from our in-country stocks," said Arianne Rummery, UNHCR spokesperson.

This airlift will target 30,000 quake survivors identified by the authorities.

The UN refugee agency said that it had "emptied" its warehouse in eastern Nepal and has sent five trucks of plastic sheets and solar lamps for over 40,000 survivors in three districts of east Kathmandu in addition to today's airlift.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is planning to provide food assistance to 1.4 million people over three months.

"Its going to be a massive operation. But it is going to be challenging operation because of its [Nepal's] topography and the fact that we fear in the coming days there will be monsoon and probably more landslides," said Elisabeth Byrs, WFP spokesperson.

UNICEF has estimated that around 1.3 million children are in need of urgent assistance.

Oral rehydration salt and zinc particularly for people living in the open and other medical supplies are being prepared in Copenhagen for Nepal, UNICEF said.

"We have dedicated facilities that are prepositioned for a number of years now and that operation centre is in full swing," said Rick Brennan, official from Disaster for Emergencies at WHO.

"We are also working with the government on the ongoing assessment of needs, health impact and health priority. We have a reasonably good picture of what's going on inside Kathmandu but it is increasingly important to get out to the remote districts," Brennan added.

The five main hospitals are functioning though some of them have sustained some damage, the WHO said.

PTI

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Updated Date: Apr 28, 2015 22:01:53 IST