Just days after 153 people died and hundreds were injured, another powerful earthquake measuring 5.6 on the Richter scale struck Nepal on Monday.
On Saturday, a magnitude 6.4 earthquake struck Jajarkot and Rukum districts in western Karnali province, causing widespread damage.
Biggest earthquake since 2015
With the end of the government’s search and rescue operation, the death toll stands at 153 and the number of injured stands at 338. Official data also shows that more than 4,000 houses have been damaged in the worst-hit districts.
In response to the earthquake, the largest to hit Nepal since the 7.8 magnitude earthquake of 2015, UN agencies have provided temporary shelter, food and non-food items as part of a comprehensive and urgent response to the affected communities need.
Regarding the organization’s joint response, UN Resident Coordinator Hanaa Singer Hamdy said that “despite geographical remoteness and a difficult operating environment, UN agencies and humanitarian partners are on the ground supporting the government’s efforts, reaching around 3 thousand families with food, shelter, hygiene articles, protection and health support”.
More than 382 aftershocks were reported, forcing people to spend nights in open or temporary shelters in freezing temperatures.
Sending food and health support
Hanaa reported that the impact of this latest earthquake “exacerbates the difficulties and vulnerabilities of communities with low socio-economic indicators”.
The World Food Programme, WFP, provides logistical support to the government and humanitarian partners through the humanitarian response area.
In addition, the agency quickly dispatched 6 tons of ready-to-eat emergency food to the affected areas, helping to feed approximately 7,500 people over three days.
The World Health Organization, WHO, supports local and national authorities in responding to the needs of the affected population.
Shelter and hygiene
The United Nations Children’s Fund, Unicef, sends emergency supplies and supports efforts to reach the most vulnerable children and families.
As of Sunday morning, Unicef had distributed 1,067 sets of tarpaulins and 1,300 pieces of blankets to the affected population, with another 3,000 sets dispatched.
To prevent disease outbreaks, Unicef is providing sanitation and water supplies consisting of hygiene kits, with a bucket, mug, water purifier and temporary toilets to the displaced populations in the two most affected districts.
The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, has sent medical supplies and other items to women and girls to ensure that their needs for basic sanitation, menstrual hygiene, and sexual and reproductive health are met amid the disaster.
Recognizing the protection needs of affected communities, UNFPA, in collaboration with other agencies, is also focusing on ensuring that gender-based violence response mechanisms and appropriate referral of cases are in place.
The United Nations Development Program, UNDP, has committed resources to early recovery, including damage assessment and sending engineers to assess damaged structures.
UN Women works with women’s groups to support Community Kitchens and deliver relief packages. The agency is preparing to provide essential supplies for women and children, thermal units, water purification equipment and support for pregnant women.
The International Organization for Migration supports the Provincial Emergency Operations Center with information management. The agency intends to soon begin distributing shelters to support the displaced population.
The UN emphasizes the importance of a united and rapid response to alleviate the suffering caused by this crisis. Cooperation with the government and local authorities remains strong to ensure the delivery of efficient and effective aid to affected regions.