Christian Aid launches Nepal earthquake appeal
Christian Aid has launched an emergency appeal to provide urgent aid in the wake of the Nepal earthquake disaster and it has been backed by the charity’s East Anglia regional co-ordinator.
Christian Aid partners are already providing urgent relief to victims of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal and parts of India, leaving over 2,300 dead and thousands more severely injured.
Entire communities have been devastated by the disaster. Some 6.6 million people are affected, with the death toll set to rise as rescue efforts continue. Unconfirmed reports suggest that 80% of homes have collapsed near the epicentre, while hospitals are struggling to cope with the scale of the disaster.
Thousands are being forced to live out in the open, due to the risk of further aftershocks. In response, Christian Aid with its partners in Nepal and India are assessing the scale of damage in some of the hardest-hit areas and identifying the most pressing needs: these include access to safe drinking water, food, shelter and hygiene kits.
This work will be funded by Christian Aid’s emergency appeal, launched on Saturday (April 25). The charity has already sent £50,000 to support the work of local partner agencies in the region, and will scale up its operations in the days and weeks ahead.
Christian Aid’s East Anglia Regional Coordinator, Julian Bryant, said: “This is such a desperate situation. People need resources and help urgently. We have already started to help through people on the ground but so much more is needed.”
Christian Aid’s Ram Kishan, Regional Emergency Manager for South Asia, based in Delhi, said: “Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the region and has one of the least capacities to deal with an emergency of this scale. Medical services and hospitals are facing an immense strain at the moment. In Kathmandu Valley, hospitals are overcrowded, running out of room for storing corpses and also running short of emergency supplies.
“At the moment we know that 6.6m people have been affected. However, the numbers are likely to increase because the earthquake epicentres - mainly Gorkha, Makwanpur and Lamjung - are still not accessible. Those affected will have immediate and long-term needs emerging in the coming days. The most pressing need at the moment is for food, water supplies, medication, blankets, hygiene kits and other essentials for people who are displaced.”
This was Nepal’s worst earthquake in eight decades. The disaster also reached the neighbouring north Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and West Bengal.
Ram Kishan said: “At the moment, the deaths confirmed in India are 64: the majority are in the northern states of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal. Some of the public infrastructure there has been damaged and some houses have collapsed. We are in touch with groups in all these states to get more information on the extent of the damage.”
For more on Christian Aid’s response click here.
Pictured is the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake. Top picture courtesy of Christian Aid/ Yeeshu Shukla, picture above courtesy and copyright of Domenico