Australian aid agencies respond rapidly to Nepalese earthquake

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Australian aid agencies have been at the forefront of the immediate response to the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Nepal following a massive earthquake on Saturday, according to the peak body for Australia’s aid and development sector

“Australian agencies are on the ground providing vital assistance including food, water, shelter and health services and conducting assessments of the scale of what is needed now and in the coming months,” ACFID’s Executive Director Marc Purcell said.

“There is also a strong Australian focus on supporting people with disabilities and women and girls affected by this crisis

“As Australian aid agencies swing into action to respond to the enormity of the task in Nepal, we encourage Australians to support their work.

“Australians keen to help those affected by the earthquake should consider donating to ACFID members, rather than providing goods.

“Aid agencies and people on the ground are best placed to ensure that the specific needs of affected populations in Nepal are met. Cash donations are more useful than offers of goods. Cash donations allow aid agencies to source the most appropriate goods and services to help those in need,” Mr Purcell said.

A full list of ACFID members responding to the earthquake relief effort can be found here. These organisations are all signatories to the ACFID Code of Conduct that commits them to standards of good practice, transparency and accountability in their work. ACFID has an independent public complaints system in relation to our members work.

“ACFID welcomes the $5 million so far committed by the Australian Government to the earthquake response, noting that $3 million will be provided through ACFID members.

“However, we call on the Australian Government to increase its level of emergency and development assistance to Nepal. Australia’s current development assistance to Nepal is $33 million annually and this will need to increase in the upcoming budget to help the Nepalese rebuild after this catastrophe.

“It is important that our aid program is about more than just responding to immediate needs following a disaster. It needs to have the capacity to help nations rebuild over the longer term, and to work with governments and communities to reduce the risk and impact of disasters in the first place,” Mr Purcell said.