The death toll continues to rise after the 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, reaching over 7,500. As devastating as the news is, the number of people that are fighting to survive in the aftermath is even greater.
According to the UN, approximately 8 million people across Western and Central Nepal have been affected by the crisis and 3.5 million have been cut off from access to food. The World Food Programme (WFP) has reported that food has been sent to 250,000 people, but that still leaves millions in dire need.
Urgent calls for funding and financial support are not only necessary because immediate help can save lives now, but also because the foreseeable future does not look promising for Nepal. This South Asian country relies heavily on its agriculture, including the 1.8 tons of wheat it was predicted to produce this year. The tragic earthquake has created extensive crop damage and has made affected areas impossible to harvest. Now, the clock is ticking on Nepal’s food security especially with monsoon season right around the corner.
Nepal’s monsoon season normally hits between June and August, which will make the crisis even more difficult to get a handle on, especially when it comes to providing food from within Nepal.
WFP has made an appeal to the international community for $116.5 million in contributions so that it can provide food for 1.2 million people over the next three months. Additionally, the UN is calling for an additional $34 million so that logistics and telecommunication services can be provided on the ground.