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April 28, 2015

Opinion: Nepal Was an Aid Disaster Waiting to Happen

Aid organizations have long feared that an earthquake in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley would trigger a humanitarian catastrophe, but their response has been hamstrung by a confluence of crises and a significant fundraising gap, according to a Washington Post opinion piece.

With an unprecedented host of conflicts and disasters stretching their capabilities thin, relief charities and United Nations agencies depend more than ever on the generosity of donors, who at the moment "are not contributing on a scale anywhere near commensurate to worldwide needs," writes Mark Leon Goldberg, who writes a blog and hosts a podcast on U.N. and global affairs.

When the Nepalese earthquake struck Saturday, the U.N.'s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs was running 15 appeals totaling $18.67 billion to deal with crises in Syria, South Sudan, and elsewhere, but had raised only $3.27 billion. "Unless donors step up in a big way, this earthquake will only exacerbate the problems faced by relief organizations around the world," Mr. Goldberg writes.