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May 26, 2015

Nepal Relief Work Lags as Donors Move On to Rebuilding

The United Nations said Monday that the international donor community has shifted its focus in Nepal to post-earthquake reconstruction at the expense of badly needed basic relief services, the Thomson Reuters Foundation writes. As of Monday, the U.N. had raised $92.4 million — 22 percent of a $423-million goal — to provide tents, food, potable water, and other necessities to up to two million survivors in the Himalayan nation.

Jamie McGoldrick, the U.N.'s resident coordinator in Nepal, said aid groups and governments responded "impressively and comprehensively" to immediate search-and-rescue needs following the April 25 quake. "The talk now is about reconstruction, but we are trying to remind people that in between search and rescue and recovery, there is a phase called relief, and we can't forget that," he said. He added that donor fatigue is affecting Nepal assistance efforts amid competing humanitarian crises in Syria, Yemen, and elsewhere.