Nepal Has Yet to Spend $4 Billion in Relief Funds

After earthquakes, 2.5 million are still in need of food, shelter, medical care

A Nepalese man sits near the debris after the earthquake in Bhaktapur near Kathmandu, Nepal on April 26. ( Photo: AP)
Photo: Photo: AP

Four months after two earthquakes killed upwards of 8,800 people in Nepal, and two months after international agencies agreed to donate $4 billion to help the country rebuild, the Nepali government hasn’t spent any of that money on reconstruction, Reuters reported Wednesday.

Govind Raj Pokharel, chief executive officer of the National Reconstruction Authority, told Reuters that the Nepali government, which hasn’t made arrangements to receive the funds, probably won’t spend the relief money until October. He said there were concerns about building during monsoon season, as well as delays in approving reconstruction plans.

About 2.5 million people in the country are still in need of food, shelter, and medical care, including many in remote areas, according to the United Nations. Maili Pariyar, 50, who is living in a tent in Kathmandu, told Reuters she has not received aid from the government.

"We have lost everything. We are desperate," she said. "How much longer do we have to wait for help?"

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