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Food, shelter top priorities in Nepal 6 months after quake

 2015-10-26 13:22:36.0

Nepal earthquakKathmandu : Six months after the devastating earthquakes that shook Nepal in April, shelter and food remain top priorities for the people as the winter approaches. Besides the humanitarian crisis, successive Nepali governments have also failed to create a reconstruction authority to carry out reconstruction works in an effective manner where the international community has pleaded over $4.5 billion.

With the government of Nepal, humanitarian partners provided emergency shelter to over 700,000 families, but the effect of the coming harsh cold weather is a concern with many people still without permanent durable housing. "While much has been achieved, the humanitarian community remains committed to meet remaining needs," said Jamie McGoldrick, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal in a statement.

A Humanitarian Coordinator is the senior-most United Nations official in a country experiencing a humanitarian emergency. "With the winters on the way, we must ensure adequate shelter and food security, particularly for more than 80,000 families."

The April and May earthquakes left 8,891 people dead, destroyed more than 600,000 houses and damaged 290,000 houses. During the height of the emergency, around 188,900 people were temporarily displaced. Over the last six months, the humanitarian partners provided food to over 1.4 million people, established temporary classrooms for 300,000 children and supported health authorities to restore all damaged health facilities by June.

The efforts ensured that there were no disease outbreaks. To reach remote and isolated villages, last-mile logistics operations employed innovative and traditional methods of delivering assistance with 16,000 porters and hundreds of mules.

Over 500,000 people received multi-purpose cash assistance, which helped them bridge the economic gap caused by devastated livelihoods. "When faced with tough challenges like the monsoon season, landslides and difficult terrain, we are proud of how we have been able to support the government and people of Nepal," McGoldrick said. "But present conditions are a concern."

The Humanitarian Country Team is urging a quick resolution to the fuel shortage so that winter goods can be quickly delivered to vulnerable households. This massive logistical undertaking can be achieved, McGoldrick said, but the lack of fuel is significantly affecting distribution of goods. (IANS)

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