In News: Relief to Nepal Stuck at Customs Say UN Officials

Relief for disaster-hit Nepal cannot reach the victims due in customs even as time is of essence, says UN.

Published01 Jul 2015, 05:58 PM IST
Hot News
1 min read

Aid supply to earthquake-hit Nepal are stuck due to bureaucratic customs procedures, Un officials said on Wednesday.

The slow-down has occurred in the wake of monsoon posing an imminent threat to the supply route to the remote areas in Nepal.

The sense of urgency cannot be overstated...we can’t afford administrative, bureaucratic delays. Monsoons will exacerbate the situation in every respect... speed is of the essence, we have got to mobilise as fast as we can in this period–John Ging, Director (Operations), UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Nepal’s government has been criticised for holding up foreign relief deliveries since a 7.8-magnitude quake struck on April 25, despite Kathmandu signing an agreement with the UN, in 2007, that guarantees faster customs clearance for humanitarian aid in the event of a disaster.

Need vs Supply

The landlocked Himalayan nation needs around USD 6.7 billion to recover from the disaster that killed more than 8,800 people, destroyed nearly half a million houses and left thousands in need of food, clean water and shelter.

The UN says some 2.8 million people still require humanitarian aid, including access to food, sanitation and medical care, with its initial $422 mn emergency appeal only generating $168 mn in funding.

The government wants reconstruction funds to be channelled through a new state body, raising concerns among some donors that bureaucracy and poor planning will hamper rebuilding.

International donors, led by neighbouring India and China, last week pledged $4.4 billion to help rebuild the country.

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