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Funding crisis hits Kashmir quake relief


THOUSANDS OF people in earthquake hit Himalayan villages could die this winter as funding shortages threaten to ground vital helicopter flights, the aid charities said this week.

The UN World Food Programme said it had so far received less than 10% of the $100M (£56.5M) it needs to run 30 transport helicopters in the region.

These have been taking food and other humanitarian supplies to Himalayan communities in north east Pakistan and Pakistan controlled Kashmir, devastated by the 8 October quake.

The UN estimates that there are still 2M people needing aid before snow hits later this month.

'It is tragic that when we have the expertise and technical capacity to ensure that most of the survivors get their basic food needs through winter, we cannot reach them because of a lack of funding, ' said World Food Programme regional director Amir Abdulla.

The lack of emergency funding reaching the area has renewed calls for the establishment of a £565M emergency fund to be held by the UN for faster disaster response.

Some of this would replace cash donated as disasters occur and would be available immediately.

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