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Earthquake: Plan delivers emergency food, shelter to previously cut-off areas

<p>Race against time to deliver vast volume of urgent aid to devastated isolated villages</p>

4 May 2015: Plan International teams are among the first agencies getting relief into isolated, mountainous, and rural parts of Nepal’s Central Region devastated by the earthquake, where up to 90% of houses have been destroyed or damaged beyond use.

Plan is working round-the-clock to ensure vital emergency aid is getting through to devastated and often isolated communities in places like Dolakha, Kavre, Sindhupalchok. In the last few days, Plan has delivered emergency shelter supplies and food supplies to thousands of children and families in urgent need in remote villages.

Reaching children in rural areas

“At the moment, the needs of women and children are among our top priorities in distributing aid,” says Mattias Bryneson, Plan Nepal Country Director. “Rural areas are in desperate need of humanitarian support. When we reach these remote communities, we see that almost 90% of the houses in some areas are completely destroyed.

“In our distributions, we are working to ensure that women and children who are sleeping without shelter and are in dire need of food are getting our emergency supplies. Without shelter, children and their families are left to sleep in the cold and the rain, leaving them vulnerable and at risk of future health problems,” said Bryneson.

Emergency aid supplies

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.

Challenges remain

“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,” said Bryneson.

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.

“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,” said Bryneson.

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Media contacts

Photos from Nepal are available for download and use.

Staff from Plan International in Nepal and staff at the Asia Regional Office and headquarters are available for interviews. To set up an interview, contact:

In Kathmandu:

Mike Bruce, Regional Communications Manager, Email: mike.bruce@plan-international.org
Mobile: +66 (0)81 8219770 | Skype: mikegbruce

Davinder Kumar, Global Media Manager, Email: Davinder.kumar@plan-international.org
Mobile: +977 9803125879

In Bangkok:

Jessica Lomelin, Communications, Email: Jessica.lomelin@plan-international.org 
Skype: jessicanicole621

About Plan:

Founded over 78 years ago, Plan is one of the oldest and largest children's development organisations in the world. We work in 51 developing countries across Africa, Asia and the Americas to promote child rights and lift millions of children out of poverty. Plan is independent, with no religious, political or governmental affiliations.

About Plan Nepal:

Plan has worked in Nepal since 1978, helping poor children to access their rights to health, education, economic security and protection. In the hundreds of communities that we work with, there are difficulties accessing adequate health care and sanitation. The communities are often impoverished, which can leave them vulnerable. Plan has active programming and works with children and communities throughout earthquake-affected areas, and has field office in Makwanpur and Balung, close to the epicentre.