More funds needed to assist 2.8 million earthquake survivors in Nepal

(Kathmandu/Bangkok, 2 June 2015) An estimated 2.8 million Nepalese affected by the back-to-back earthquakes remain in need of humanitarian assistance, more than five weeks after the initial earthquake. The numbers include 864,000 people living in remote, mountainous areas who require urgent assistance, as they lost their homes and livelihoods. However, funding for the relief interventions remains insufficient.

“Our top priority is to provide vulnerable people of Nepal with the basics, to ensure their survival through the monsoon”, said Jamie McGoldrick, Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal. “If we cannot achieve this, the progress that was made to reduce vulnerabilities before the quakes will be lost forever and we will have to face an even starker reality”.

With over 500,000 houses destroyed and another 269,000 damaged by the quakes, hundreds of thousands of people continue to stay in makeshift shelters close to where their homes once stood or too afraid to return to their damaged houses. Some 95,100 people who remain displaced are housed in 374 sites in 12 districts. Providing these people with shelter in the next two weeks before the rainy and cold season starts is a top priority for the responders.

An estimated 1.4 million people require food assistance, due to high damage to agriculture-based livelihoods. As the planting season starts this month, an estimated 236,000 people need agricultural inputs, including rice and vegetable seeds. The situation is aggravated by the large loss of livestock.

Key infrastructure, including schools, health facilities, access roads, temples and heritage sites, was also damaged or destroyed. About 1 million children were unable to resume classes at the end of May, as thousands of classrooms were destroyed or remain unsafe. Some 5.6 million people require healthcare support, including disease surveillance access to medical facilities.

To ensure these urgent needs are addressed, the humanitarian community revised its joint strategic response plan originally launched on 29 April. The adjusted strategy puts an even greater emphasis on shelter, to include assistance to families whose homes were damaged. Logistics are also important as the fast-approaching monsoon season is about to further complicate aid delivery to remote, hard-to-reach areas which are amongst the most affected.

“We continue to scale up the relief effort day after day,” said Mr. McGoldrick. “A lot has been achieved to date. Thanks to innovative approaches to aid delivery we were able to tackle many bottlenecks, including the topography challenge. I urge the international community to show its solidarity and support this effort”.

To date, $120 million was received against the $422-million Flash Appeal.

For further information please contact:

Leszek Barczak, Public Information Officer, OCHA Nepal

Tel: +977.9860.889.062; e-mail: barczakl@un.org

Orla Fagan, Regional Public Information Officer, OCHA Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific

Tel: +66.899.447.623; e-mail: fagano@un.org

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.