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4 Million Nepalese Still Live in Shelters 1 Year After Quake

FILE - A man walks past a temporary shelter built near houses which were damaged during the earthquakes last year, in Bhaktapur, Nepal.

The Red Cross says nearly a year after a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, some four million people are still living in temporary shelters under substandard conditions that may pose a threat to their health and well-being.

In a statement Thursday, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said shelter remains the first priority for those survivors of the earthquake, but little progress has been made to help people rebuild some of the 800,000 homes that were damaged or destroyed in last year's quake.

"Living under plastic sheeting was never intended as a permanent solution," said Dev Ratna Dhakway, the Secretary General of the Nepal Red Cross Society. He said the group's aim is to restore the dignity of the survivors with the reassurance that they will have "the security of a real home" in the near future.

The Red Cross says it is waiting for the Nepal government to establish guidelines on rebuilding homes, so the community members who have been learning masonry, carpentry, and earthquake-resistant building techniques from Red Cross workers can start putting up permanent structures.

The Red Cross said in its statement that it plans to continue its support of the recovery needs of Nepalese earthquake victims through 2017, aiding people in 14 districts who were affected by the earthquake of April 25, 2015.