Rebuilding Nepal is not going to be easy especially considering the fact that some 500,000 homes and cultural heritage sites have been damaged. The recovery and reconstruction operations are going to be an uphill task.
However, according to the UN Development Programme (UNDP) Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support Magdy Martínez-Solimán the “good news” is that large infrastructure structures such as the main airport, dams, communications and electricity networks had largely survived the twin earthquakes that hit Nepal.
Martínez-Solimán who along with his team is assessing the damage in Nepal in the wake of the 25 April earthquake and series of powerful aftershocks said the official assessment of the damage would be ready in early July.
But he described “immense” damage to the 500,000 to 600,000 homes in mostly rural areas, as well as to cultural and historical heritage such as temples, upon which Nepal’s economy depends.
It would take $175 million to reconstruct the homes, as per unofficial UNDP estimates
Rebuilding Nepal brick by brick:
The UNDP’s priority is to plan out a recovery and reconstruction strategy to protect and restores infrastructure, services and livelihoods without disturbing the
According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), an estimated 2.8 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance with over 860,000 people in immediate need due to loss of shelter, limited road access and poverty. The total number of casualties now stands at 8,669 with 384 people still missing.
A month after the first of the two earthquakes hit Nepal, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned some 70,000 children are at risk of malnutrition and require urgent support, including 15,000 children in 14 of the worst-hit districts who need therapeutic foods – like nutrient-rich peanut paste – for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition.
The UNICEF needs to provide urgent feeding and care to protect these children and build their resistance against diseases, especially water-borne diseases, during the upcoming monsoon season.
So far nearly 2 million people have received food assistance under the World Food Programme. A new phase of the response dubbed Operation Mountain Express is now underway to reach people in high-altitude villages.
The WFP is using trucks, tractors and helicopters to deliver to reach people in need. In addition teams of mountaineers have been commissioned to reach inaccessible villages and assess needs for a wider humanitarian response on behalf of WFP.
Additionally some 20,000 local porters who were largely out of work because of drop in tourism, have been engaged to ensure that the aid reaches the remotest of locations in Nepal.
The coming monsoon season in Nepal is adding another layer of urgency to relief operations because heavy rains from June will hinder access to remote rural areas.