Two separate earthquakes in April and May killed 9,000 people, injured more than 22,000 and damaged or destroyed nearly 900,000 houses, forcing many to live in shelters built with tarps and iron sheets, even in freezing temperatures.

It took until September for Nepal to create the National Reconstruction Agency (NRA). Today, a minister said that the Cabinet on Friday named a chief for the agency, giving it the green light to begin its work.

The delays were due to wrangling between political parties, which frustrated many international donors. Sherdhan Rai, Minister for Information and Communication Technology, said,” The NRA will finalise the models for homes to  be reconstructed and give financial assistance to people to  rebuild their homes,".

He also said the agency will be responsible to rebuild schools, hospitals, monuments, roads and office buildings in five years.

UNICEF says more than 200,000 families affected by the tremors are still living in temporary shelters, at an altitude above 1,500 metres (4,920 feet) where harsh winter conditions will continue through February.

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