Red Cross urges long-term support

Updated: 2015-10-26 07:58

By Xinhua in Geneva(China Daily)

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The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies warned on Friday that longer-term support is needed to help shattered communities recover six months after a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal. The Red Cross said in a statement that as winter approaches, one of the main humanitarian concerns is how families living at high altitudes will endure the coming months.

"Many have lost their thick-walled homes and are living in temporary shelters that offer little protection against the cold," the Red Cross said, adding that the organization is making plans to give blankets or cash grants to families so they can buy what they need.

IFRC noted that over the coming 18 months, the aid focus will be on supporting the recovery of 700,000 people in four key sectors: water supply and improved sanitation, the restoration of livelihoods, rehabilitation of health structures and community health programs, and help in rebuilding permanent homes.

"The effects of the earthquake have been felt at household and community levels. People have lost homes and livelihoods. The water supply of many communities has been disrupted, and local health services have been damaged or destroyed. It will take years for life to return to normal," Max Santner, head of the IFRC delegation in Nepal, was cited as saying.

According to the IFRC, after the earthquake it launched a massive emergency response operation, and significant achievements have been made in meeting the immediate needs of survivors.

The earthquake of April 25, followed by a second quake on May 12, killed 8,857 people and affected a total of 5.6 million people, with more than 900,000 houses being damaged or destroyed.

(China Daily 10/26/2015 page10)