Delay in donations may deepen crisis for quake survivors: UN
United Nations (UN) Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal Jamie McGoldrick has warned that the failure of international community to respond to humanitarian appeal launched by the UN and its partners may result in a crippling loss of dignity of divastating earthquake victims and more deaths in rural areas of Nepal.
McGoldrick – in a press note – said that the funding requirement for humanitarian needs remain unmet with barely $59.5 million or 14 per cent of the total $423 million humanitarian appeal, launched by the UN and partners on April 29, received so far.
"The window of opportunity to provide vital relief to Nepalis is closing quickly as urgent funding requirements remain unmet," the UN said in the statement.
International search and rescue as well as medical teams arrived in Nepal within hours of the first earthquake but the level of funding received indicates that initial outpour of solidarity is diminishing at a time when beefing up humanitarian interventions is essential, it said, adding that only 14 per cent of the appealed aid has been received so far.
"If we don't act quickly, the implications will be severe," he said, adding that they can only expect misery, a crippling loss of dignity and the real potential for more deaths especially in the rural and remote areas.
Hundreds of thousands of Nepalis remain homeless nearly three weeks after the first quake hit. The most urgent priority is to provide people with roofs over their heads before the monsoon season starts, according to the UN.
The most urgent priority is to provide people with roofs over their heads before the monsoon season starts and achieving this will increase the likelihood of success for other key interventions that aim to assist vulnerable communities to get back on their feet as quickly as possible.
Local communities were and are continuing to be the first responders. Village development committees (VDCs), private sector, volunteers truly understood their responsibility. The international community was also prompt to show support to the government-led relief efforts. International search and rescue and medical teams arrived in Nepal within hours of the first earthquake, supported by military and civil defence assets.
However, the UN said that the level of funding received against the humanitarian appeal till date indicate that initial outpouring of solidarity is diminishing at a time when beefing up humanitarian interventions is essential. Pipelines must be in place before the monsoon rain isolate people in remote, vulnerable communities.
"Our ability to respond to urgent needs of the Nepalis depend at this stage solely on the amount of financial support that will be provided," McGoldrick said, adding that the other challenge is particularly the topography but the aid agencies are tackling theme in innovative ways.
Standard aid delivery is being complemented with competencies and traditional community methods. Responders are also partnering with trekking and mountaineering associations. Dedicated radio programming and mobile networks are being used to ensure that people know how and where to obtain relief and can provide direct feedback. Cash programing is used, where appropriate to overcome access challenges, while stimulating the local economy and allowing people and communities to prioritise their own needs.
UNGA supports Nepal
The 69th United Nations General Assembly today adopted a resolution on Nepal earthquake with 127 countries as co-sponsors. The resolution 'Strengthening emergency relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction in response to the devastating effects of the earthquake in Nepal' emphasised the importance of linking relief with rehabilitation and development from very early on, building resilience and 'building back better'. The resolution also stressed strengthening national capabilities at all levels to prepare for and respond to future disasters and integrating a gender perspective to ensure that women take an active and equal role in all aspects of disaster management and rehabilitations. The resolution affirms the 'leading role and the primary responsibility' of Nepal government with adequate support from the international community in the humanitarian response, rehabilitation, recovery, reconstruction plans for the country.
The UNGA also called on UN secretary general and UN System to continue their assistance to Nepal in ensuring effective coordination of the national and international relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts and through international follow-up initiatives as appropriate.