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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Saturday, March 17, 2018


Nepali prime minister says death toll could exceed 10000

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala warned

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KATHMANDU, Nepal -- Three days after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated much of Nepal, more than 5,200 people are dead and 1.4 million are in urgent need of food, the United Nations said Tuesday.

The death toll rose by more than 1,000 people Tuesday and Wednesday, though Prime Minister Sushil Koirala warned the total number could jump to more than 10,000. More than 8,000 were injured and that number, too, is expected to rise.

As rescuers continue to search for survivors in the rubble, the UN turned its focus to the 8 million people it says have been affected by the earthquake, namely the 1.4 million in need of food aid.

A situation report from the UN's office of the Resident Coordinator for Nepal said that of those who need food assistance, 750,000 live near the epicenter of the temblor in poor quality housing.

"Impact on agriculture-based livelihoods and food security is expected to be extremely high," the report said.

The report also calls for medical tents, medication, surgical kits and body bags.

The UN World Food Program says it plans to provide food aid for 1.4 million people over the next three months at a cost of $116.5 million. They expect to start delivering rice Wednesday.

Poor road conditions have made the process difficult and aid workers are using helicopters to fly into more remote areas to deliver food.

"Our thoughts are with the people of Nepal at this terrible time," said Pippa Bradford, WFP's country director and representative in Nepal. "Despite their own personal tragedies and difficult working conditions, our Nepali staff and their international colleagues are working flat out to help those in need of humanitarian assistance. Time is of the essence to get food to those who urgently needed it."

The WFP is accepting donations to fund the food assistance through its website.

USAID has also compiled a list of reputable humanitarian organizations appealing for donations to send aid to Nepal.Danielle Haynes

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