'Different type of delivery system' needed in Nepal

Nepal’s unique setting and an impending monsoon make it more challenging to deliver aid in the earthquake-hit country. Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations’ resident coordinator for Nepal, stressed the need for the international community to come to the country’s aid “very quickly and very heavy.”

Much has been said about the difficulties in delivering aid in earthquake-hit Nepal. The country’s mountainous terrain has made villages and communities in high altitude areas extremely challenging to reach. Its largest airport meanwhile is still too small to accommodate all of the large aircraft that are trying to fly in aid.

The incoming monsoon, on the other hand, has put a deadline on immediate aid delivery needs. Once the rains come in, it will be nearly impossible to bring relief to areas that even now are hard to reach.

Even without such logistical challenges, delivering aid to the people who need it is generally difficult anyway, according to Jamie McGoldrick, the United Nations’ resident coordinator for Nepal. But in Nepal, there are no big camps housing people displaced by the temblor, very much unlike the refugee shelter settings in other places such as in Africa.

“It’s a different type of delivery system,” McGoldrick explained to Devex in Nepal. “People sometimes will come for the materials and carry them back themselves, rather than us delivering them door to door.”

Further, with just a few weeks left until the monsoons come, “there’s a need for speed,” the U.N. coordinator stressed, particularly when it comes to addressing resource constraints.

“Logistics, shelter and foodstuffs, medical, emergency, health, water and sanitation all have to be delivered very high up,” he concluded. “It’s a very expensive operation but we don’t have any choice, it’s the only way we can get this done.”

Watch the video above to see an excerpt of our conversation with McGoldrick.

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About the author

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    Aimee Rae Ocampo

    As former Devex editor for business insight, Aimee created and managed multimedia content and cutting-edge analysis for executives in international development.

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