Last week, as the world watched in disbelief and helplessness, Nepal was struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake. Landmarks were razed to the ground, and lives buried beneath heaps of debris.
An estimated 7,000 people are dead, and the government does not believe any more survivors could be found. The death toll is expected to shoot ever higher when recovery teams finally reach remote areas.
Countries around the world were quick to extend their condolences and offer relief packages to Nepal. But despite their claims and intentions, Nepal has still not received the help it needs to battle this disaster. With an estimated amount of $415 million needed, Nepal’s Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat alleged that "not a single dollar has been deposited into government accounts."
"So, I don't say that it will not come," Mahat said. "It will take some time but as of now the government's entire operation is entirely funded by the government's own internal resources."
Another factor hampering the arrival of aid into Nepal is the country’s stringent customs checks. These customs controls are holding up most of the humanitarian aid that needs to make its way into Nepal.
UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos has said that Nepal has a duty to provide faster customs clearance for relief supplies.
Nepal has called for more foreign aid, admitting that it was ill-equipped to handle the earthquake and its aftermath, with only 20 helicopters available to deliver aid packages to the disaster-struck areas.