UN Calling Asia – Nepal special

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Kathmandu, Nepal, April 2015. Photo: UNDP

This week, our programme is focusing on Nepal, where a 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit on Saturday, 25 April, 2015. 

The most recent estimates indicate that the earthquake killed more than 5,000 people. Many of those who survived lost their homes and are now living in the open or in tent settlements.

Operations to address their most urgent needs were immediately put into place by the UN and its partners. They responded by deploying staff and sending emergency supplies.

Five days after the quake, the UN humanitarian office, OCHA, launched an appeal for US$415 million amid reports that many communities remained unreachable due to the extent of the damage. (Report by Daniel Johnson)

Nepal. Photo: UNDP

In addition to the tragic consequences on people, the UN cultural agency, UNESCO, reported that the earthquake had a devastating impact on the unique cultural heritage of the country.

It says "irreversible" damage was caused. The rapid growth of the capital Kathmandu contributed to the massive scale of disaster in the city, according to the head of the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction, UNISDR.

Daniel Dickinson asked the UNISDR chief, Margareta Wahlström, why the damage was so extensive. (Interview)

The impact of the earthquake in Nepal on food security and agriculture is also likely to be very high.

A separate appeal was launched by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) to support Nepali farmers.

FAO says US$8 million is needed to help them prepare for the upcoming rice sowing season set to start in mid-to-late May. Somsak Pipoppinyo is the FAO Representative in Nepal and Bhutan. He spoke with Sandra Ferrari on the phone from Kathmandu.

Presenter: Stephanie Coutrix
Production Assistant: Ana Carmo
Duration: 10’00″

Filed under UN Calling Asia.
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