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Nepal earthquake: IMF ready to send team to assess needs

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The International Monetary Fund said on Sunday it was ready to send a team to Nepal to evaluate financial needs after the earthquake that killed more than 2,400 people and devastated Kathmandu valley.

[WASHINGTON] The International Monetary Fund said on Sunday it was ready to send a team to Nepal to evaluate financial needs after the earthquake that killed more than 2,400 people and devastated Kathmandu valley. "An IMF team stands ready to visit Nepal at short notice to help the government assess the macroeconomic situation and determine any financing needs," managing director Christine Lagarde said in a statement.

The IMF is coordinating with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank to evaluate the impact from Saturday's quake of 7.9 magnitude, which toppled buildings in the capital Kathmandu and triggered avalanches on Mount Everest.

Overwhelmed doctors moved hundreds of patients onto the streets of Kathmandu on Sunday when aftershocks rattled hospitals and buildings.

Sick and wounded people lay on a dusty road outside Kathmandu Medical College while hospital workers carried more patients out of the building on stretchers and sacks.

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Orla Fagan, spokeswoman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the most serious challenge facing victims of the earthquake was worsening weather conditions at a time when people were living outdoors, afraid to go back into their earthquake-weakened homes. "People will be terrified to be indoors. They will be exposed to the elements. There are no temporary shelters set up yet. They will all be sleeping outdoors tonight in terrible weather conditions" and with sewage and water systems damaged, there is the possibility of disease spreading, Fagan told the CBS "Face the Nation" TV show.

REUTERS

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