A row has broken out between Nepal and some international agencies over the handling of aid that poured into the country after last month’s devastating earthquake, with each side blaming the other for confusion and delays in getting help to victims.
Relief efforts have been slow to reach many people affected by Nepal’s worst disaster in more than 80 years, leaving an unknown number of people stranded, injured and hungry for days.
The 7.8 magnitude quake, which struck 10 days ago, has killed more than 7500 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless.
Relief material initially piled up at the airport as Nepalese customs officials checked each crate that came in so commercial goods did not slip through.
Senior government officials said customs checks were necessary, because they did not know what was coming into the country.
That’s idiotic. You’ve had a major disaster and people are dying waiting for relief. What is more important? Even if a small amount of commercial goods did slip through, what is the impact of that compared to delaying vital supplies at the border for days and days?
Supplies included goods that Nepal did not need and many relief workers arrived without proper documents to enter the country, complicating efforts to move the aid effort along, officials said.
Again, so what? Again what is the bigger problem – a few forms not filled in, or getting relief workers in quickly to where they are needed?
The Nepalese Government is generally known to be incompetent, but this takes things to a new level.