There was a race against time for relief agencies to compete with the approaching monsoon season, with a substantial amount of monetary help yet to pour in, said Jamie Goldrick, UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Nepal.

On April 29, the UN had appealed for USD 415 million in the wake of Nepal's worst earthquake in over 80 years, but till Friday only USD 22 million has trickled in, which is little above five percent.

"The relief needs remain great and we urgently need funds to be able to continue our work. Of the requested USD 415 million to support immediate humanitarian interventions, only USD 22.4 million was received. This needs to be dramatically ramped up," Goldrick said.
    
The global body said that providing shelter, sanitation and clean drinking water still remains a priority considering the magnitude of the disaster.
    
According to UN, as many as eight million people have been affected by the deadly quake.
    
"Shelter remains our top most priority. Nearly 2,85,000 houses have been destroyed and another 2,30,000 thousand damaged, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without roof over their head.

"Other priority needs include sanitation and hygiene support, household items, medical kits and supplies, food," he said.
    
But all this has to be done before the monsoon hits the nation in June-July, the agency said, adding that the three- month gap is critical also coincides with the sowing season in agriculture.
    
This is followed by extreme cold in the hilly regions. "Our main focus now is to reach as many of the affected people in remote, hard-to-reach areas and as quickly as possible to beat the onset of the monsoon.

"And we need to do so urgently, so that people have roofs over their heads and their other urgent needs are addressed before the monsoon season starts," Goldrick said.
    
Paul Dillion, project manager for International Organisation for Migration that works closely with the UN, said "Clock is ticking and there is a real sense of urgency in getting into these areas before the monsoon. The roads are bad and it will get worse after the rains. The response to the flash appeal by the UN was around 5 percent.

"We can't be running the responses through credit cards. Aid has to be delivered and that too in time." Nearly 8,000 people have died and over 16,000 injured after the 7.9-magnitude temblor jolted the Himalayan nation on April 25.

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