KATHMANDU – A donation from the Government of Japan has helped ensure air-lifts of food and other humanitarian items continue to earthquake-affected people in Nepal.
The US$1 million contribution, announced today, will go to the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) in Nepal which is managed by the UN World Food Programme (WFP). The funds will help allow helicopters to continue flying vital supplies to remote earthquake-affected communities in mountainous regions.
Last month UNHAS warned it may have to terminate the helicopter service earlier than planned because of a lack of funding, which would have impacted more than 146,000 people in isolated areas. However, new financial support means the service will now continue until the end of October.
“WFP is extremely grateful to Japan for its generous contribution,” said Pippa Bradford, WFP Nepal Country Director. “Keeping helicopters flying shelter material and food to otherwise inaccessible communities is critical to helping villagers prepare for the onset of winter.”
Japan has been a major contributor to the international relief effort that followed the 25 April earthquake. “We acted very fast, and we remain committed to supporting humanitarian efforts on behalf of those Nepalese hardest hit by the disaster,” said H.E. Mr. Masashi Ogawa, Ambassador of Japan to Nepal.
Since 29 April, UNHAS has delivered urgently needed relief to remote communities on behalf of 156 humanitarian agencies. To date, its helicopters have moved more than 3,012 humanitarian workers and 1,812 tons of humanitarian supplies to mountainous regions. Before this latest contribution, the Government of Japan had already donated US$3 million to WFP Nepal, including to UNHAS, for its emergency operation following the earthquake.
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WFP is the world's largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, delivering food assistance in emergencies and working with communities to improve nutrition and build resilience. Each year, WFP assists some 80 million people in around 80 countries.