Supported: Hope Alliance founder Jodi Tweed with villagers from Lhi in Nepal. The United Nations has warned of a looming catastrophe because of a political blockade starving Nepal of fuel.A HUNTER woman has returned from Nepal and warned of a looming catastrophe after visiting the isolated village supported by Hunter donations following an earthquake that devastated the country.
Worried: Jodi Tweed with a villager from Lhi last week. Millions of Nepalese face an uncertain future because of a political blockade of fuel.
Former Lake Macquarie Children’s Games directorJodi Tweed said it was clear that while thousands of people died because of the April earthquake, a political blockade starving Nepal of fuel this winter could kill millions.
“Nepal is in crisis,” said Mrs Tweed, whose Hunter-based charity the Hope Alliance worked with Community Action Nepal to take 25 donkey-loads of rice to the village of Lhi last week to ensure enough food for 200 villagers over the next few months.
“We’ve made sure all the people in Lhi have been able to rebuild their homes, our school is almost repaired and the community centre will be rebuilt, but other villages have received no support since the earthquake, and they have no fuel for winter.”
The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, has warned that more than three million children under the age of five are at risk of death ordisease because of a blockade stopping fuel, food and medicinereaching Nepal from India.
The blockade by India is in response to a new Nepalese constitution India believes threatens minorities living on its border.
UNICEF regional director Karin Hulshof called on all sides to begin talks because children needed to be protected from disease, cold and hunger.
“The plight that children and their families are facing in the country has been worsening by the day and will deteriorate further in the winter months,” Ms Hulshof said.
Mrs Tweed, who established the Hope Alliance with husband Phil after visiting Nepal in 2003, had not visited Nepal since the earthquake.
She was shocked by what she saw.
“Nobody’s got fuel. People are standing in a queue for up to five days to get fuel for heating and to cook. The restaurants and cafes where people would make a living to feed their families are shut.
“It is very cold already in Kathmandu, and even colder in the villages, but people have no insulation in their homes. The Nepalese are really facing another humanitarian crisis. Everything felt different there.”
Without liquid fuel, Nepalese are turning to burning firewood in their homes to cook and keep warm, but burning firewood caused indoor pollution blamed for the death of 5000 children in the past year.
Mrs Tweed organised the successful International Children’s Games at Lake Macquarie in 2014where more than 1500 children from around the world competed in sports events.
Hope Alliance volunteers built a school in Lhi in 2010. Moneyraised in the Hunter was used to establish a training program for Nepalese teachers and a lunch program for children.
To make a donation, visithopealliance.org备案老域名