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Nepal says aid supplies helping country 'gradually become normal' after quake


Nepal

Nepal says aid supplies helping country 'gradually become normal' after quake

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Nepalese authorities say humanitarian operations are being strengthened and aid is getting through to areas hardest hit by the earthquake ten days ago.

Their upbeat message refers to places like Chautara, northeast of Kathmandu, where there has been praise for the army’s rescue effort.

More than 130,000 soldiers and police are taking part in the relief effort in the Himalayan country, aided by more than 100 teams of foreign relief workers.

“The situation in the country is gradually becoming normal because relief items have already reached crucial, hard hit areas,” home ministry spokesman Laxmi Prasad Dhakal said.

“Everybody is trying to return to their normal lives and all our government machinery is working to make sure that all relief is provided for as long as people want and need. We are trying our best.”

The UN’s World Food Programme is focusing on reaching the remotest areas, and says having prepared for the disaster it is “ahead of the game” in providing support.

“What we need is to continue to ensure that we receive the resources that are required, so that no person goes hungry and no person goes without the assistance that they need,” said the WFP’s Executive Director, Ertharin Cousin.

Working with local authorities, the WFP has dispatched food to some 250,000 people and hopes to reach 1.4 million over the next three months.

The task is huge. At Patan south of Kathmandu, people came to pray on Tuesday at the UNESCO World Heritage Site badly damaged in the quake.

Sixty-two-year-old Saba Ahada came to visit the temples from the north of the country and said he thought it was going to take years to restore them.

“It will take time, I think so 10 years, not less than 10. The government of Nepal is not taking too much interest,” he said.

More than 7,500 people have been confirmed dead in Nepal after the earthquake of magnitude 7.8, with more than 14,500 injured.

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