Rebuilding after earthquake in Nepal a "daunting task"

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A man in Goddamchour Lalitpur trying to clear debris from the first floor of his house, as communities look for ways to start rebuilding their lives after the powerful earthquake devastated Nepal. Photo: UNDP Nepal/Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi

Rebuilding homes that have been destroyed by a massive earthquake that hit Nepal in April has been described by a senior UN official as "a daunting task".

Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Assistant Director at the UN Development Programme (UNDP) briefed the press in New York on Tuesday following his visit to the South-East Asian country.

Catherine Hasselberg reports.

The senior UNDP official has just returned from Nepal where he discussed with government officials and other partners reconstruction efforts following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country one month ago.

More than 8,000 people were reportedly killed by the massive earthquake which destroyed thousands of buildings.

Magdy Martínez-Solimán said that the first phase of search and rescue operations and provision of immediate relief has been implemented.

He told reporters that he visited some of hardest hit areas near the epicentre of the earthquake.

"It's a daunting task rebuilding half a million homes or in other words, helping half a million families, protecting them from the monsoons that are to come and from the winter that won't be long thereafter. Devastation is intense. I saw it first-hand." (15")

UN agencies are engaged in supporting reconstruction including the provision of cash for work for the victims of the earthquake.

He said more needs to be done to help Nepal.

Catherine Hasselberg, United Nations.

Duration: 1’03″

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