Nepal declines help from Taiwan, New Zealand

Kathmandu: Overwhelmed with the foreign aid pouring in and finding it difficult to direct it to the victims of the devastating earthquake that hit the Himalayan nation, Nepal has declined help from Taiwan and New Zealand.

Government officials confirmed that Nepal has rejected Taiwan aid, while a media report quoted New Zealand’s Foreign Minister Murray McCully as saying that Nepal won’t be needing its help.

Nepal has already requested friendly nations to seek its prior approval before sending aid.

Officials said the aid and assistance distribution has been hampered due to lack of proper coordination among government agencies.

India was the first nation to send the relief and rescue materials but its aid is yet to be fully utilized as thousands of kilograms of aid such as medicines, dry food items, tents and other materials are accumulating at Tribhuvan International Airport since Saturday.

Minister for Information and Communication Minendra Rijal admitted there were shortcomings on the government’s part and that the situation will improve by Wednesday.

As a result, there have been protests by victims who are demanding the relief items.

The inclement weather has made access to some districts difficult, which in turn has hit the rescue and relief distribution.

The government has stored the relief materials at two dozen places in Kathmandu but it has not reached the victims.

“We are doing our best but, yes, there are weakness too,” said Home Ministry spokesperson Laxmi Prasad Dhakal.

Officials here said Nepal has not dealt with a big natural calamity like Saturday’s 7.9-magnitude earthquake in the recent past, and is hence it is ill equipped to tackle the problems arising after it.

They also said it was because of lack of infrastructure, technical expertise and knowledge, lack of preparation to cope with any type of disaster and lack of logistic materials that the aid and relief material was not reaching the quake-hit.