Nepal PM calls for greater global assistance in quake rehab
Kathmandu, May 17
Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Sunday called for greater international support and assistance in the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts after a series of earthquakes left the nation severely rattled.Addressing the national and international media on Sunday evening, Koirala, while hailing the role played by the international community in the aftermath of the April 25 quake, also expressed gratitude to India, China, the US, the United Nations and the other SAARC nations.
He thanked Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping, US President Barack Obama and other countries and development partners for assisting Nepal during the critical time.
“The way the international community, including our immediate neighbours, have played their role in the search and rescue bid, we expect the same cooperation in Nepal’s reconstruction and rehabilitation bid,” he said.
Nepal is organising an international donors’ conference in July to seek greater global support to rebuild the country, after initial government estimates said infrastructure worth around $10 billion was damaged due to the April 25 quake followed by over 200 aftershocks.
Koirala also praised the role of the political parties of Nepal and stressed unity among them to overcome the challenges posed by the devastating earthquake.
“I am so very inspired by the response from top leaders of all political parties at this time of national crisis in addressing the challenges,” he said.
Asked why the Nepal government refused to let British Chinook helicopters land in the country to help in the rescue operation, Koirala said there was no politics involved in the decision, but that the helicopters were returned keeping in mind the limited capacity of the Tribhuvan International Airport and the heavier size of the Chinooks.
Asked if the government failed to properly handle the search, rescue and relief operation, Koirala said the government did its best within the limit of its resources.
He held lack of proper logistics responsible for the failure whatsoever in effectively dealing with the crisis.
Koirala further said he expects generous contribution from the international community in the rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. The prime minister said he had not imagined that the nation would have to face such a massive disaster. “It has been so difficult for us to come to terms with this scale of calamity,” he said.
More females died in Nepal quake
More females died in the April 25 devastating earthquake and the series of aftershocks that hit Nepal, the ministry of home affairs said on Sunday.
Among the 8,583 people who died in the quake, 4,714 were females and 3,825 were males, according to data released till Sunday evening.
The ministry added that the sex of 44 bodies has not been ascertained yet.
The highest casualties were reported in the capital Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Sindhupalchok, Rasuwa, Dhading, Nuwakot, Kavre and Dolakha — where a total of 4,459 female lost their lives, compared to 3,581 males.
Bishnu Maya Bhandari, a 104-year-old woman from Kavre, Hari Maya Devkota, another 104-year-old from Gorkha, and 102-year-old Guthi Maji, also from Gorkha district, were among the oldest who died in the quake, said Nepal Police.
Police said women were mostly busy in household work and suffered the worst when the quake struck.
According to police data, a total of 735 children, aged less than 10 years, and 274 senior citizens (aged over 80), died in the earthquake.