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Money for relief flights in Nepal runs short

Earthquake relief by helicopter

Earthquake relief by helicopter

The World Food Programme (WFP) has sounded the alarm. If the “United Nations Humanitarian Air Service” (UNHAS) does not receive additional money, the helicopter relief flights for the earthquake victims in Nepal have to be stopped at the end of August. According to the WFP, which manages the UNHAS, there is a shortfall of more than nine million US dollars to continue the flights as scheduled until the end of October. The UNHAS is transporting staff and relief goods from UN agencies, the government in Kathmandu and Non-Governmental Organizations from all over the world to remote mountain areas in Nepal, which were particularly hard hit by the earthquake on 25 April and the aftershocks.

30 percent more flights

In continuous use

In continuous use

“The earthquake damaged or destroyed already precarious mountain trails and roads. Monsoon rains have exacerbated this problem by causing landslides”, Seetashma Thapa from WFP Nepal writes to me. “The damage to transport infrastructure has been unexpectedly high.” Helicopters are often the only way to reach the remote villages. The six UNHAS helicopters “have been used 30 percent more than was initially envisaged at the beginning of the program”, says Thapa.

Don’t lose any time!

According to the UNHAS, about 140 remote communities have been served so far. “The cargo transported has mostly been shelter materials – such as metal roofing sheets –, food, health supplies, equipment for the provision of water and sanitation facilities”, says Seetashma Thapa. “The three most-served districts have so far been Dhading, Gorkha (both located west of Kathmandu near the eight-thousander Manaslu) and Sindhupalchowk (east of the capital).” About 150,000 people are still reliant on the relief flights. Thus, there is no time to lose!

P.S. Thulosirubari is a village in Sindhupalchowk District. The earthquake has damaged the local school, which had been attended by 700 students before, so badly that it must be demolished. With our donation campaign “School up!” we want to rebuild the school as fast as possible. Please support us! You find the details on the right side of the blog.


14. August 2015 | 16:06