Rafaële Tavernier, euronews: “Jean-Jacques Simon, head of UNICEF communication in South Asia, now in Kathmandu, we’re hearing about almost one million children very badly affected by the earthquake. What is your main concern for them?”
Point of view
It has to be for a lot longer than just one day.
Jean-Jacques Simon, Chief of Communication UNICEF South Asia: “Several thousand children, as you say, have been either directly or indirectly affected. Those most directly are cases where their homes have been lost, or their loved ones, and who find themselves out on the street from one day to the next. This is why several makeshift camps have sprung up around the capital and in other parts of the country. It’s understandable that they must be helped very swiftly, with water and medicines, and making sure the youngest are properly nourished.”
euronews: “You say you are terribly short of everything. Are you saying it’s taking too long for international humanitarian aid to arrive?”
Simon: “Unfortunately, it takes the time it takes. A UNICEF cargo plane is coming in tonight, notably carrying medical supplies, tents and vaccines. We had pre-positioned material for 5,000 families in the Kathmandu area, three regions, specifically, but a lot more is needed, because it has to be for a lot longer than just one day; it has to last for several days, because people are made homeless overnight, and solutions for that, of course, don’t just happen immediately.”
euronews: “So, Kathmandu is a nightmare, people say. Can you describe your surroundings and what people are feeling?”
Simon: “There’s usually a great deal of coming and going in the capital. That traffic has stopped. People are staying in their neighbourhoods, helping each other where some of them have lost their homes, sometimes families. The electricity is off, and water is hard to come by. Stores are closed for the most part, and we’re still getting aftershocks. What are we waiting for? We don’t know. There’s a lot of fear for the future. Where we are concerned, in the UN agencies and other partners, we have to be well organised, ready to provide help really fast for all these people, especially for the children of Nepal.”