United Nations, May 16: The UN has adopted a resolution, led and co-sponsored by India, calling the international community to urgently assist Nepal and help rebuild the country following the devastating earthquake that killed more than 8,200 people.
The resolution was adopted by consensus here yesterday during a special 193-member General Assembly session. The UN appealed once again to the world body to help raise USD 423 million over the next three months to meet essential needs of Nepal earthquake survivors.
Also read: Nepal suffered $10 bn damage in quakes
"The appeal is currently only 14 per cent funded," Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon pointed out. India had taken the lead in negotiating the resolution on Nepal that was co-sponsored by 65 other nations including Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, China, Germany, Japan, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, UK and the US.
India's Ambassador to the UN Asoke Mukerji said that as a "close friend and neighbour" of Nepal, India launched 'Operation Maitri' to aid in the rescue and relief efforts.
"The relief and rescue work provided by India was done in consultation and coordination with the Nepalese Government," Mukerji said, adding that the first flight from India was dispatched with relief material within four hours of earthquake and there were non-stop sorties of aircrafts carrying 550 tonnes of relief material.
The Indian Army was operating 13 helicopters from Kathmandu and Pokhara and India had deployed 16 teams of the National Disaster Reaction Force, comprising over 700 trained personnel.
India launched 'Operation Maitri' to aid in the rescue and relief efforts
"Now that the search and rescue phase is over, our commitment extends to partnering with the people of Nepal for rehabilitation and re-construction," he said. Nepal's envoy Durga Prasad Bhattarai appreciated India and China for their relief and rescue operations.
He said the generosity and spontaneity shown in emergency responses, including from India and China, was heartfelt. Ban called on the international community to rally in support of the country and invest for the long haul so that it can sustain itself as it recovers and rebuilds from a devastating earthquake.
He added that over the past three weeks, the lives of eight million Nepalese people has "changed beyond recognition," as he expressed condolences to the victims of the massive 7. 8 magnitude quake that struck Nepal on 25 April, killing more than 8,200 people.
Another powerful temblor shook the country this week, killing more than 100 people and dealing another blow to Nepal's severely crippled infrastructure.