Christian Aid has made an initial £50,000 available to help victims of the Nepal earthquake, and will launch an appeal to supporters for further funding.
Several partner agencies are on their way to the worst hit areas, including PGVS, which works on the Nepal/India border on disaster preparedness relating to events such as floods and cyclones, humanitarian response experts RedR, and Aquaplus which provides water purification systems.
Christian Aid will also work with partners in the ACT Alliance, a coalition of more than 140 churches and affiliated organisations working to alleviate poverty and respond to humanitarian needs.
Christian Aid’s regional emergency manager Ram Kishan said today: “Rural areas were particularly hard hit by the earthquake, but little information has so far emerged as travel is difficult, not least because of damaged infrastructure.
“We fear, therefore, that the death count could be much higher, as well as the loss of buildings and property. Our partners are en route to establish where need is greatest, so that we can respond quickly and effectively.
“It’s clear from what has emerged so far that there is an urgent need for emergency shelters, food and clean drinking water, warm clothing blankets and hygiene kits. The provision of civic and essential services in Nepal is weak, and hospitals and other medical services are under strain.
“The last major earthquake to strike Nepal was in 1934 which had a magnitude of 8.3 Richter. It caused great loss of life and considerable damage to buildings. Since then, the population of the country has skyrocketed along with urban development.”
Further information from Andrew Hogg: 07872 350534