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Logistics remains key to Nepal aid

FedEx Direct ReliefKATHMANDU: The UN World Food Programme (WFP), funded by voluntary contributions, says it needs US$116.6 million to provide food for 1.4 million people affected by the Nepal earthquake.

The aid organization, with support from its logistics partners, has distributed food for 300,000 people so far and is currently bringing in more helicopters and engaging multiple fleets of small trucks to get supplies to hard-hit rural areas where roads are poor or non-existent.

WFP says it is also opening a land route from India to take pressure off Kathmandu airport but currently is struggling to find money for the expanding logistics operation as its emergency operations are only four percent funded.

"The people of Nepal are resilient, but we can't expect families to be living in the rubble of their homes, with little food, no roof over their head and the monsoons coming," said Richard Ragan, who is coordinating WFP's relief operation. "We in no way want a lack of resources to force us to limit the assistance we're providing."

In addition to donations from Denmark, Liechtenstein, Canada, the UK and the European Union, the U.S. has also responded to the food request by flying in three million high-energy nutrition bars (HEB) from Dhaka, Bangladesh. Due to the weight restrictions at Kathmandu airport, the shipments will arrive on multiple flights.

Meanwhile FedEx has added its significant logistics support by delivering 178,000 lbs. of medical aid and supplies to Kathmandu via Dubai on behalf of Direct Relief (right), Heart to Heart, and Water Missions. The shipments will provide support for six hospitals in and around Katmandu and five emergency medical teams.

According to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), as of May 08 the earthquake has resulted in 7,885 deaths, over 17,800 people injured, 8.1 million in need of assistance and three million urgently requiring food. OCHA says in-kind contributions from 58 organizations have shipped 1,850 tonnes valued at US$22.6 million to the devasted country although only 15 percent so far has been successfully delivered.

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