05.05.15

Plan airlifts emergency supplies to cut-off areas

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Race against time to deliver vast volume of urgent aid to devastated isolated villages

Plan Ireland teams have today (4th), started airlifting emergency relief items provided by the Irish government into isolated, mountainous, and rural areas parts of Nepal’s Central Region devastated by the Earthquake, where up to 90% of houses have been destroyed or damaged beyond use.

Thousands of blankets, tents, tarpaulins and jerry cans supplied by Irish Aid, the Irish government’s programme for overseas development were dropped into some of the worst hit and most remote regions today.

Plan’s Mike Bruce, who accompanied one of the airlifts said;
This aid will have a massive impact. Today, we delivered over 1,500 emergency supply items to communities where up to 90% of homes have been destroyed.

“These rural areas are in desperate need of humanitarian support. This distribution will ensure those who are sleeping without shelter and are in dire need of food are getting lif-saving support.”

New relief supplies are being delivered on a daily basis. Plan has so far distributed over 2,300 emergency shelter supplies, food supplies – including rice, pulses, oil and salt for a family of 10 for up to 7 days – and other urgent household items to dozens of devastated districts and villages. Emergency shelter supplies include tarpaulin and rope, and are able to provide shelter for up to 10 people.

Plan is working with local organisations, village committees and authorities to streamline aid from supplier and donor through to those in need, and make sure that communities that are suffering get emergency assistance as quickly as possible.

Plan Ireland, Emergency Response co-ordinator, Dualta Roughneen said;
“We are prioritising getting emergency supplies into these devastated mountain villages, as many of them were previously cut-off, inaccessible and in extreme need of humanitarian support. We are coordinating with the Nepalese authorities, UN, and other aid agencies to expedite the receipt and distribution of aid.”

Due to air traffic and the large volume of aid and cargo flights coming in, the Kathmandu airport has become a bottleneck, making it difficult to streamline aid and deliver items to communities as quickly as possible. Plan is working with agencies and the Government of Nepal for alternatives to expedite the delivery of aid from its donors to affected communities.

Plan Nepal’s Country Director, Mattias Bryneson said;
“We are aware of the logistical challenges and are working to alleviate those issues. Made worse, distribution was impaired due to the impact of roads – many were badly damaged and blocked by landslides. But now that we have access to areas that were previously cut-off, we are working around the clock to ensure our emergency supplies are reaching those devastated by last week’s events.”

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