Crisis in Nepal
Half a year after the deadly earthquake, Nepal is facing a fuel and housing crisis. The ethnic Madhesi minority in the border region has been staging violent protests over its representation in Nepal’s new constitution, and India is imposing an unofficial blockade over safety concerns. Fuel and goods cargos have all but halted at the border. Antagonism against India is high due to what is perceived as political interference and manifested as the hashtag #BackoffIndia on social media. Hundreds queue in line for 3-4 days to get petrol and profane gas, and the blockade is disrupting Nepal’s already stretched reconstruction efforts and affecting average Nepali people with price hikes and lack of general necessities. Medical supplies are dwindling and some Nepalis are turning to firewood for cooking.
According to the UN, the earthquake destroyed approximately 600,000 houses and damaged 290,000 houses in Nepal. Aid groups warn that temporary housings made with corrugated tin and tarp will be inadequate in cold weather, especially in higher altitudes. Among the affected, it is estimated that 400,000 Nepalis live at elevations of 1,500 meters (4,920 feet) or higher. Children and the elderly would be most vulnerable in these conditions. As a result of these difficulties, Nepal is on the brink of a humanitarian crisis.