Search teams have recovered the bodies of 53 trekkers and villagers buried in avalanches set off by an earthquake in April on Monday, while Nepal’s government is struggling to raise quake relief funds amid accusations of corruption and poor governance.
Rescuers dug through snow and rocks to find more victims in the trekking village of Langtang, north of Kathmandu. One hundred and twenty eight people have been buried under snow following avalanches triggered by the April 25 earthquake.
Fifty three bodies including three of foreign trekkers were recovered over the weekend, with more than a dozen trekkers and Nepali citizens still missing. April's 7.8-magnitude earthquake and another on May 12 have claimed 8,773 lives so far in Nepal's worst natural disaster on record.
Meanwhile Nepal's government struggles to raise funds for reconstruction as the country suffers an estimated $10 billion in damage and the threat of monsoon rains looms over the half a million people who remain homeless.
The government will organise a donor conference in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu at the end of June to assure donated money will be spent effectively. Many donors fear that due corruption and poor governance aid will be wasted, and funds have been slow to reach Nepal.
Seventy five million dollars of foreign aid was pledged after the quake, with the government planning to raise $2 billion through the newly formed National Reconstruction Fund. However, the fund has so far collected only $200 million. The United Nations has also collected $124 million out of its goal of $422 million.
Nepali officials will present a new report evaluating the country's post-disaster needs to donors during the conference. Hundreds of officials and engineers are working to collect data in 500 villages of 34 districts to provide preliminary estimates of the damage done by the quake.