26 May 2015

UN calls for more Nepal quake aid

8:19 am on 26 May 2015

One month after the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal, a top UN official says the international community needs to provide more food aid and shelter.

Residents of a village in Nepal's Kavre district work to build shelters for those left without houses. 23 May 2015.

Residents of a village in Nepal's Kavre district work to build shelters for those left without houses. Photo: AFP

More than 8,000 people died in the disaster and many remain homeless.

UN resident coordinator in Nepal Jamie McGoldrick said donors were focusing more on reconstruction than much needed aid like food and shelter.

He said international search and rescue teams did impressively initially, but that they seem to think the's job done.

A candle lit vigil in Kathmandu on 25 May, a month after the deadly earthquake struck the Himalayan nation.

A candle lit vigil in Kathmandu, a month after the deadly earthquake struck the Himalayan nation. Photo: AFP

Nepal's government, which has been criticised for being slow to respond, has called for more direct aid funding.

Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat told the BBC less than 10 percent of the money spent on relief by his government came from overseas.

Dr Mahat said he hoped future international donations would be managed directly by his government.

On Monday evening, hundreds of Nepalis joined a candlelit vigil at the Brikutimandap grounds in Kathmandu to remember the dead and mark a month since the earthquake hit.

Nepalese soldiers clear debris at Rato Machhindranath temple, Bungamati. 18 May 2015.

Nepalese soldiers clear debris at Rato Machhindranath temple, Bungamati. Photo: AFP

The earthquake that hit on 25 April, and a second major tremor on 12 May, killed more than 8,600 people and brought down buildings in Kathmandu and the country's central districts.

Shelter materials and food aid have been slow to reach some areas, and many Nepalese have complained that the government is not doing enough to help those affected.

As aftershocks continue to be felt, thousands of people are still living in makeshift tents and there are fears these will not survive the summer monsoon, due to start next month.

There are also fears the rainy season will bring further landslides and the threat of disease.

Damaged buildings in Bhaktapur, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, on 27 April 2015.

Damaged buildings in Bhaktapur, on the outskirts of Kathmandu, on 27 April. Photo: AFP

People work to clear rubble in Durbar Square, surrounded by dust.

People work to clear rubble in Durbar Square in the aftermath of the first quake. Photo: AFP

- BBC / Reuters

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs