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IFRC launches emergency appeal for USD 35 million for Nepal

Press Trust of India  |  Geneva 

The Red Cross today launched an emergency appeal for USD 35 million to cater to 75,000 people hit by the worst earthquake in 80 years in Nepal.

"We are rallying our global resources to support the Nepal Red Cross, and make sure that the response to this disaster is as efficient and effective as possible," said Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

We call on all partners and donors to urgently and generously support our action, and the wider humanitarian efforts that have been launched in response to this critical situation," said Elhadj.

The IFRC said that it is very difficult to arrive at correct estimates of casualties until the remote villages are accessed and until there are reliable numbers from the Tibetan region and from Northern India.

"If you look at the inner circle of about 100 kms or so from the quake, the estimates are between 4.6 million and 6.6 million people living in that area. The broader circle also encompasses region of Tibet and northern India, Bihar in particular," Simon Eccleshall, Head, Disaster and Crisis Management at IFRC.

"Nepal poses enormous challenges because of its geography, density of population, built quality of Kathmandu in particular," Eccleshall said.

The IFRC said that initial reports suggest that around 5,000 buildings have been damaged and the Gorkha district seems to be the most severely affect though it is early to jump to conclusions.

The humanitarian organisation stated that a major area of concern are the flatter areas of Nepal that border India.

"The numbers we are talking at the moment are heavily balanced around those areas that are accessible that is Kathmandu Valley and city itself," the IFRC official said.

"We have been looking at air freight charter into Kathmandu airport primarily. We have had some good cooperation with the public authorities in India around providing some seats for our personnel to come in on," Eccleshall said.

At least 940,000 children living in areas severely affected by yesterday's earthquake in Nepal are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, says UNICEF.

WHO urgently requires USD 5 million for its ongoing initial humanitarian response to the disaster in Nepal.

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First Published: Mon, April 27 2015. 21:57 IST