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UN Relief Agencies Respond To Nepal’s Flood Crisis

UN Relief Agencies Respond To Nepal’s Flood Crisis

The United Nations food agency in Nepal announced today that it was mobilizing emergency aid for the 50,000 people forced to flee their homes by last week’s severe flooding in the eastern region of the Asian nation.

The disaster assistance is in response to the newly formed Government’s request after monsoon rains displaced tens of thousands from their homes and villages, as well as destroying thousands of hectares of land.

Experts fear that more people will need to be evacuated if the rising water levels of the Saptakoshi River continue to erode its embankments.

“We were able to quickly get food moving to thousands of displaced families affected by these devastating floods,” said the World Food Programme WFP Country Representative Richard Regan.

“However, we are concerned about the continuous rains which could increase the number of people in need of food,” added Mr. Regan.

The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reported that thousands of people, mainly women and children, are packed into dozens of schools and temporary shelters while others are still camped on top of their homes and in makeshift tents along the remaining embankment.

The WFP will provide a 15-day food basket of rice, pulses, salt and vegetable oil for the 50,000 flood victims and is ready to supply food for 30 days to families who cannot return to their homes because of high water levels.

For its part, UNICEF was able to immediately release non-food emergency aid for about 2,000 families, including blankets, water buckets, plastic tarps, hygiene kits, first aid kits and water purification solutions.

Relief and evacuation efforts are being hampered by local protests and flood damage along the country’s East-West Highway.

Mr. Regan urged Nepalese “not to block our food deliveries. Stopping much needed food to people who have lost everything is simply no way to deal with grievances.”

The WFP estimates that up to an additional $3 million, on top of the European Commission’s $1.5 million to cover the cost of food assistance for the first 30 days, will be needed to meet longer-term needs and provide recovery support for the flood victims.


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