The Nepal govt sets up $2 billion reconstruction fund
The Nepal government decided to set up a $2 billion fund to rebuild thousands of buildings that were either damaged or destroyed in the killer earthquake on April 25. A decision to this effect was taken at a cabinet meeting.
The meeting also decided to provide Rs.1 lakh each to the family members of those killed. Besides, another Rs.40,000 will be given to conduct the last rites, and Rs.25,000 to each family for rebuilding damaged houses.
The government, in a statement, said the reconstruction fund will cover rebuilding damaged structures.
It said 13,502 government building were partially damaged while 10,141 government buildings were destroyed.
“As a start-up fund, the government will put $200 million immediately,” Irrigation Minister Narayan Prasad Saud said after the meeting, adding that the rest of the fund will be sought from donor agencies and the international community.
Since Saturday, many nations and donor agencies have contributed over 6 billion Nepali rupees in the Prime Minister Relief’s Fund. India, China, the US, the European Union, the UN, the World Bank and many other nations have already announced their assistance to Nepal both in cash and kind.
The toll in the devastating earthquake has touched 5,700 and nearly 12,000 have been injured.
Around 1.7 million children are now in urgent need of aid in the areas worst-hit by the earthquake in Nepal, according to Unicef.
The children’s organisation revealed the figure as it launched a US$50.35 million appeal to get humanitarian assistance to children and their families amid growing risk of disease outbreaks. The appeal is Unicef’s portion of a new inter-agency fundraising ask to meet immediate needs over the next three months.
“The lives of so many children have been torn apart and they are in desperate need of life-saving support, including clean water, shelter and sanitation,” says Tomoo Hozumi, Unicef Nepal Representative.
“Without a safe water supply, waterborne diseases remain huge risks for children. Many families are struggling simply to protect themselves from the sun and rain and we only expect needs to grow in the coming days as we receive more information from remoter areas and the full scale of the disaster becomes more apparent.”
Unicef is working with partners to deliver vital humanitarian assistance including clean water and shelter:
- Tents, hygiene kits, water purification tablets and buckets have been dispatched to Gorkha for distribution, the area at the epicentre of the earthquake, where the presence of dead bodies poses the risk of disease outbreak. Vital supplies have also been dispatched to Kavre and Dhading.
- Unicef is delivering water purification tablets, buckets and hygiene kits in Bhaktapur where only 1 in 5 people are estimated to have access to clean water.
- Water tankers are distributing clean water to 16 informal camps that have sprung up in the Kathmandu valley.
- Teams are identifying and assisting children who have been separated from their families
- Unicef is working with partners to provide psychological support for children living in informal camps who have experienced extreme shock
More than 80 per cent of health facilities in the five most severely affected districts have been extensively damaged, with treatment taking place outside. 274 out of 323 schools assessed in 16 affected districts are either partially or fully damaged – highlighting the need for temporary learning spaces to protect children and allow them to establish a routine.
UK Offers£5 million
£5m rescue and relief aid boost for Nepal earthquake effort
The UK’s rescue and relief efforts in Nepal will be boosted with trauma medics, heavy lifting equipment to move aid supplies at Kathmandu airport, and humanitarian experts to help coordinate the international response, International Development Secretary Justine Greening announced today.
This additional support brings to £15 million the total UK response to the Nepal earthquake. Today’s additional £5 million package includes:
- a 30-strong Medical Team carrying eight tonnes of equipment including medical supplies and bandages, a generator and tents. They are funded by the Department for International Developmentand managed by Save the Children in partnership with the UK Med and Handicap International;
- airfield handling equipment including two forklift trucks. This will facilitate the swift movement of aid supplies off aircraft and help to ease congestion at Kathmandu airport; and
- agreement to fund humanitarian secondees to the World Food Programme, Unicef and UNFPA. These are experts in water, health and sanitation and will ensure support for the most vulnerable people affected by this disaster.
International Development Secretary Justine Greening said: “The UK is playing a leading role in response to the Nepal earthquake.
“We are boosting the British humanitarian effort by deploying more medics to treat the injured and delivering supplies that will help get aid through, including heavy lifting equipment to ensure supplies at Kathmandu airport can reach those in need.”
In addition to the £5 million announced today, the UK has already pledged £10 million to the relief operation which includes:
- £3 million released under the Rapid Response Facility (RRF) so partners can address immediate needs on the ground;
- £2 million for the British Red Cross; and
- up to £5 million to match public donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s earthquake appeal.
The UK is also providing expert support and assistance on the ground:
- The Department for International Development has deployed a team of more than 60 search and rescue responders and medical experts as part of a cross-government capacity surge to support the relief effort in Nepal.
- A RAF C-17 flight is delivering vital UK aid stocks to Nepal, including more than 1,100 shelter kits and over 1,700 solar lanterns, along with a team of Gurkha engineers.
- British Embassy staff are on the ground and have provided practical help to over 250 British nationals; and
- Additional Foreign Office staff have been deployed to provide further assistance to those British nationals caught up in the disaster.