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International Aid Slow to Reach Earthquake-Ravaged Nepal

posted: 04/30/15
by: Discovery.com Staff

Relief organizations and governments have already pledged millions of dollars to earthquake relief efforts. Discovery is donating $250,000 to the relief efforts and has launched an employee matching campaign. Join the Discovery family in supporting GlobalGiving's Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund.

Nepal candlelight vigil (AP)
Rajanish Kakade/AP Images

International relief efforts are slowly reaching the 8 million Nepalese affected by the largest earthquake to hit the nation in 80 years. The official death toll continues to climb; officials have confirmed over 6,000 fatalities and 12,000 injuries.

Frustration boiled over on Wednesday as 200 demonstrators took to the street to protest slow relief efforts, Al Jazeera reports. While neither injuries nor arrests were reported, the demonstration reflects growing discontent amongst Nepalese as international aid slowly trickles into the earthquake zone.

"I keep hearing on the news that all governments and aid agencies are here, but where are they? Our government is totally absent. Forget shelter, they couldn't even give us water," an earthquake survivor told The Hindu, an Indian newspaper.

Relief has been hampered significantly by the small country's rugged terrain. The quake's epicenter lies close to the Himalayas, where landslides have taken out roads and other critical infrastructure in outlying areas.

International shipments of food and water have slowly begun to arrive at Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport, which presently has only one usable runway.

In addition to food, water and medical supplies, Nepalese are in desperate need of shelter. Officials estimate that up to 80% of homes were destroyed by the 7.9-magnitude earthquake. Even as infrequent aftershocks continue to rattle the region, heavy rain has caused some residents to vacate tent cities and return to their earthquake-damaged homes, CBS News reports.

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