The death toll is now over 7000 and continuing to climb.
The May 4 OCHA Situation Report notes, that 1.4 million people have been prioritized for immediate food support. “Distribution of a total of 2,094 metric tons (MT) of food has begun across 15 districts. Since 29 April, some 52,000 tarpaulins have been distributed in 29 districts while an additional 234,161 tarpaulins are en route to Nepal.” The monsoon season typically begins in late May/early June. According to the most recent updates, over 191,000 homes were destroyed and more than 175,000 were damaged.
As the map above shows, the international community is attempting to reduce the current dependence on the air-hub at Kathmandu. The Conops released yesterday notes, “The foremost objective of the Logistics Cluster in Nepal is to support the Government-led response by coordinating with International and National NGOs, the UN system and the Private Sector in order to optimize logistics efforts, and hence, the delivery of various humanitarian assistance programmes.”
Sounds reliably bureaucratic and almost meaningless. But especially in Nepal, the implications of “Government-led” may tee-up one of the principal impediments to effective humanitarian logistics and supply chain recovery. Here’s the close of an editorial in yesterday’s Kathmandu Post:
With few exceptions, the state has so far performed miserably in the aftermath of the earthquake. While there is a real need to not undermine state authority, and indeed to build state capacity, it must be made clear that rebuilding/strengthening a feudal state is not the goal. The feudal legacy embedded in an antiquated bureaucracy and reinforced by a political elite centered on power and its preservation, must be fiercely critiqued and resisted by all citizens. Prioritisation of the lives of citizens—not the policing of restrictive rules in a time of emergency—should be central. The expedient delivery of relief materials from the airport and other locations to citizens in need must take precedence.
Reuters has a good overview of some important mitigation measures that were taken before the earthquake.
The Hindustan Times has a helpful round-up of critiques and counters regarding “official” preparedness for and response to the quake.