The United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, and the European Union’s Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides concluded their joint visit to Nepal to assess the continuing support needed for the earthquake stricken country. The death toll from the magnitude-7.8 earthquake on April 25 was 7,200, according to the official count on Sunday evening.
On the last day of their visit they met with Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and confirmed the commitment of the international community to support the country. A press release issued by the UN and EU quoted Mr. Stylianides who noted that: “A disaster of such magnitude would test the capacities of any government in the world . . . The Nepalese people can rest assured that we will stand by them, Nepal is not alone in this crisis.”
According to the press release, the UN and EU aid officials witnessed the devastation caused by the earthquake that struck a week ago and met with people who were directly affected. They also had an opportunity to meet those on the front lines of the relief effort, including search and rescue (SAR) teams, medical professionals, and aid workers. Ms. Amos and Mr. Stylianides also met with senior representatives of local and national authorities, as well as financial and technical partners.
The UN and EU aid chiefs repeatedly stressed the urgent need to provide emergency shelter to hundreds of thousands of people, particularly in rural areas. There are currently more than three million Nepalese who need food aid and hundreds of thousands are homeless, according to U.N. and Nepalese government figures. However, some aid organisations have complained about being unable to get aid in to the country.
To date, some US$ 68 million has been provided in support of the ongoing response.