Nepal’s many needs

Re “Scale of tragedy dwarfs Nepal’s means,” April 28

Los Angeles Times - - OPINION -

In 2010, I spent a sum­mer vol­un­teer­ing in Nepal with a non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tion that sup­ported mal­nour­ished women and chil­dren. Be­fore the earth­quake, the hu­man­i­tar­ian and in­fra­struc­ture needs of this coun­try were over­whelm­ing; now, the ur­gency of need is in­com­pre­hen­si­ble.

I am a reg­is­tered di­eti­tian, and while in Nepal I vis­ited a chil­dren’s hos­pi­tal with no sheets, rusted dirty bed frames, dank hall­ways and pa­tients re­quired to bring their own food. There is no trans­porta­tion net­work, and a five-mile bus ride can take longer than an hour. A bus ride to an­other town 75 miles away takes eight hours. There are few paved roads in the coun­try, and most vil­lages are ac­ces­si­ble via dirt paths.

Not only are the gov­ern­men­tal so­cial safety nets for the poor and home­less nonex­is­tent, but so are pro­grams such as Medi­care, So­cial Se­cu­rity, health in­sur­ance and un­em­ploy­ment benefits. What is avail­able is ac­com­plished via in­ter­na­tional and na­tional non­govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tions, which the re­silient, hard­work­ing and in­tel­li­gent Nepalese would like to move away from.

The an­swers are dif­fi­cult, and a nat­u­ral dis­as­ter height­ens the ur­gency for ap­pro­pri­ate and tar­geted re­lief — not only now but long af­ter the cri­sis is over.

Jen­nie Dil­lon Ran­cho Santa Mar­garita

My heart goes out to the peo­ple of Nepal and sur­round­ing ar­eas dev­as­tated by the huge earth­quake. I also feel for those on Mt. Ever­est or its base camp whose lives were lost or marred by this tragedy — less so, how­ever, be­cause any­one on or near that moun­tain knows climb­ing it is a risky en­deavor.

I’m some­what trou­bled that the young Google ex­ec­u­tive who per­ished has re­ceived more at­ten­tion than all the other lost souls. And I sin­cerely hope that all the ex­pe­di­tions on the moun­tain will re­move 100% of their gear, now mostly trash.

Our planet’s beau­ti­ful crown has in­creas­ingly be­come an un­sightly dump for rich ex­plor­ers, and that needs to stop. Now would be a good time.

Crista Wor­thy Boise, Idaho

Altaf Qadri As­so­ci­ated Press

VIC­TIMS OF Satur­day’s earth­quake in Nepal wait for am­bu­lances at the air­port in Kat­mandu.

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