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Aid Agencies In Earthquake-Hit Nepal Struggle To Reach Remote Areas As Concerns Over Disease Outbreaks Rise

Deutsche Welle: Aid trickles into Nepal to deal with quake disaster
“Recovery efforts resumed on Wednesday, five days after the Himalayan country’s worst tremor in decades destroyed whole towns and claimed thousands of lives, plunging the nation into a state of emergency. ‘The government is doing all it can for rescue and relief on a war footing,’ Koirala said. ‘It is a challenge and a very difficult hour for Nepal,’ said the country’s prime minister, Sushil Koirala…” (4/29).

The Guardian: Nepal earthquake: tensions rise over slow pace of aid — live updates
In a livestream, The Guardian provides updates, including, “Protests and scuffles over relief supplies; British national killed and 500 Americans unaccounted for; ‘No one has come’: villagers wait for aid to flow; Man pulled alive from rubble 80 hours after earthquake…” (4/29).

IRIN: Health concerns grow in Nepal quake camps
“…As the true extent of the displacement around the capital emerges, so concerns about public health are rising. ‘There are urgent needs for safe drinking water, emergency toilets, hand-washing soap, and ORS (oral rehydration solutions) in evacuation centers,’ said Dharma Raj Pandey, head of the disaster unit for the [Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS)]…” (Newar, 4/28).

NBC News: Cholera Fear: Will Haiti’s Hell Come to Nepal After Earthquake?
“The earthquake that killed more than 5,000 people has set the stage for a potential cholera crisis in Nepal — the same country that unwittingly exported the devastating disease to Haiti after its quake five years ago. … And last week’s quake created conditions under which cholera and other water-borne diseases thrive: compromised water supply, lack of sanitation, and survivors crowded into tent camps, health officials say…” (Connor, 4/29).

Reuters: A friend in need: China, India turn on aid diplomacy in Nepal
“…Nepal’s government has struggled in the wake of the country’s worst earthquake in nearly a century, and its officials have been largely absent from public view. Not so India and China: both promised rescuers, sniffer dogs, tents, and food within hours, winning praise from stranded Nepalis. … Nepal is sandwiched between India and China and the two have used aid and investment to court Kathmandu for years…” (Miglani/Adkin, 4/28).

U.N. News Centre: U.N. allocates $15 million in emergency funds for Nepal earthquake response
“In response to severe devastation caused by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake and many strong aftershocks that have hit Nepal since 25 April, the United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator [Tuesday] released $15 million through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to enable humanitarian aid organizations to rapidly scale up operations and provide immediate assistance to people in desperate need…” (4/28).

Wall Street Journal: Nepal’s Airport Provides Shelter, Relief and Treatment After Earthquake
“…Since the quake, this capital city’s single-runway airport and an adjoining military airfield have become the hub of a massive international rescue and relief effort as the impoverished country struggles to care for the huge number of people wounded and displaced in the disaster…” (Mandhana/Pesta, 4/29).

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