UN, May 3. /TASS/. United Nations officials in Geneva say that there is an urgent need for aircraft and helicopters to help people stranded in remote villages and towns across Nepal, one week after a devastating earthquake struck the Himalayan nation.
"Seven days into the relief operation, a significant amount of national and international aid and responders are being used. Teams are working around the clock to reach those affected. Helicopters and aircraft are particularly needed to reach those in the most remote areas," the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) said in its report on Saturday.
UNOCHA said it was crucial to provide those in hard-to-reach areas with essential medicine, medical equipment, tents and water supplies, noting, in particular, the importance of emergency shelters given the fast approaching monsoon season.
The UN said that last Saturday’s earthquake was the largest to hit Nepal in at least 80 years, killing more than 7,000 people. More than 160,000 buildings have been damaged or destroyed, which is nearly twice the 80,000 collapsed in a 1934 earthquake that claimed 8,500 lives.
On Saturday, United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Valerie Amos, and the European Union Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides concluded their joint three-day visit to Nepal.
During their visit, the UN and EU aid officials witnessed the devastation caused by the 7.8 magnitude quake and met with people who were directly affected, representatives of local and national authorities, as well as those involved in the relief effort, including search and rescue teams, medical professionals, and aid workers, the report said.
The UN this week has appealed for $415 million to help provide emergency relief over the next three months. To date, some $68 million has been provided in support of the ongoing response, according to UNOCHA.