08/26/2016, 14.07
NEPAL
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After 16 months some 1,400 Nepal earthquake victims receive first aid installment

Beneficiaries in Makawanpur district, which has about 30,322 households, get about US$ 650,000, far less than the four billion dollars pledged by the international community. One reconstruction centre in lieu of 21 might further slow reconstruction.

Kathmandu (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Almost a year and a half after the violent earthquake that hit Nepal, the first sums of money have been handed out to survivors to rebuild homes and properties.

The first to benefit were 1,392 people in Makawanpur district, which has 30,322 households.

Nepali authorities have been repeatedly criticised for the slow pace of relief efforts and international aid distribution.

This first installment amounts to 69.6 million rupees (US$ 650,000) and is indicative of the government’s difficulty in dealing with the emergency.

The earthquake of 25 April 2015 destroyed homes, schools, Hindu temples, and prisons, killing more than 9,000 people and injuring another 22,300. It also revealed the government’s major shortcomings.

the green light for reconstruction came after eight months. In December 2015, the Neapli Parliament approved the Reconstruction Authority Bill. This set up the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) tasked to evaluate damages and direct funds from the international community.

The NRA said that that US$ 8 billion were needed to start, four of which were pledged at a major donors' conference.

While the government is committed to signing agreements with earthquake victims to hand out the money, discussions are underway that might slow the recovery.

The NRA plans in fact to close 21 reconstruction centres in five municipalities and set up a single centre to direct reconstruction.

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