Nepal - A critical funding shortage is reducing the flow of aid into earthquake-ravaged Nepal to a trickle, undermining the successes in the month since the April 25 tragedy, threatening the ability of responders to provide aid to hundreds of thousands of survivors and placing lives at risk on the eve of the monsoon.
Scenes of destruction in Chautara, a municipality in Sindhupalchowk District in central Nepal.
“The emergency has been funded, but the pipeline has not, which means that we’re about to fail in our commitment to ensure rural families have the tools they need to survive the monsoon, which starts in two weeks, and then the approaching winter,” says IOM Nepal Chief of Mission Maurizio Busatti.
“It is incredibly frustrating to have hammered together a solid platform from which to deliver aid, identified dedicated staff and volunteers, and secured the commitment of local government, only to find that the cupboards are bare.”
More than 8,600 people died and 16,800 were injured as a result of the first 7.8 magnitude quake and a powerful aftershock on May 12. The government of Nepal estimates close to 500,000 homes have been completely destroyed and a further 268,000 damaged.
The second consolidated UN flash appeal released May 11 requested contributions of USD 423 million to continue emergency and early relief operations in Nepal through July, with the goal of delivering aid to eight million earthquake-affected Nepalese. A third revision is being prepared for release shortly.
IOM’s component of the Flash Appeal amounts to USD 32.2m, the largest elements of which are the provision of shelter and non-food items (USD 18m), camp coordination and camp management (CCCM) (USD 9m) and health (USD 2.2m.) The requests focus on sectors where IOM has proven global expertise and human resources.
Thus far IOM and the UN are funded to 20 per cent (USD 6.4m) and 21 per cent (USD 89.1m) respectively. To put it in context, within a month of the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, USD 735m had been committed; one month after typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda slammed into the Philippines in November 2013, killing 6,300, USD 275m had been committed.
The consequences are immediate for the people IOM is trying to help. •IOM’s Assisted Discharge and Referral Service will cease operations, leaving children and adults with debilitating injuries to languish in hospital wards and corridors, or to be discharged without referral and follow-up care. •IOM contractors who today are ripping apart fallen buildings and clearing rubble in Chautara will stop work in ten days, increasing the level of frustration of strike-prone municipal residents and impeding the flow of aid moving through these vital transportation corridors. •IOM’s order for critically needed corrugated iron (CGI) roofing materials has been more than halved to address only 20,000 families, forcing tens of thousands of families to survive Nepal’s winter chill beneath plastic sheeting and tarps. An order for 212,000 blankets is still waiting for funding. •When the lack of shelter supplies and inclement weather forces under-supplied families down mountain paths, the security and management needs of their temporary settlements will not be addressed, leaving the most vulnerable prey to human traffickers.
To see a video of how survivors are coping with the aftermath of the earthquake, please go to: https://youtu.be/TfIXPFSDIM0