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UK adds £5.3m to Nepal aid efforts

Britain has added a further £5.3 million to aid relief efforts to help people affected by the Nepal earthquake disaster, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said.

The money, which will be split between five different UN aid agencies, takes the UK's humanitarian contribution to help those affected by last Saturday's 7.8 magnitude quake to £22.8 million, the Government said.

The announcement came as the Himalayan country was forced to close its only international airport to large jets because they are causing damage to its runway as they bring in aid.

Ms Greening said: "The UK is standing by Nepal and its people in their hour of need by ensuring lifesaving supplies continue moving around the country and by providing charities on the ground with fast-tracked funding.

"But even more has to be done to make sure these vital supplies keep reaching those who need them. With this latest British boost we will help the UN coordinate the relief effort on the ground and ensure everyone affected by this disaster continues to get the support they need."

The new money will be split between agencies helping supply food, clean water and shelter to the millions of people affected by Nepal's worst earthquake in 80 years - the World Food Programme, Unicef, the Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) and the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC)

The UN has appealed for £274 million (415 million dollars) for its "flash appeal" to help those affected by the quake, which killed more than 7,000 people and injured thousands more.

Yesterday it was revealed eight Britons stranded in a monastery in disaster-hit Nepal had been rescued, a week after the devastating earthquake struck.

A team of humanitarian experts chartered a helicopter to get to the group, who were marooned at a remote mountainside religious retreat in Bihi, near Lho.

The team of emergency staff from the Department for International Development (Dfid) flew the group to Kathmandu where on Friday they boarded planes to start their journey back to the UK.

It came as an RAF C-17 which had brought aid to Nepal rescued another seven Britons from the country - bringing the number of people from the UK who were safely evacuated yesterday to 15.


From Belfast Telegraph