Oxfam to help at least 350,000 hit by Nepal earthquake

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Oxfam today stepped up its relief effort to help an initial 350,000 people hit by the earthquake in Nepal, providing clean water, toilets and shelter to thousands of people.

The international agency is working in four open air sites in the Kathmandu Valley - delivering water and building toilets. Over the coming days we will work with other agencies to provide clean water to 16 open air sites set up by the Government of Nepal and to provide food and shelter, while also expanding operations outside Kathmandu.

Oxfam has so far raised over $1.5m globally – a fantastic initial response - but more is needed.

More than 3.5 million people are estimated to have been affected by the earthquake that hit on Saturday. The death toll, which currently stands at more than 3,700, is continuing to rise as reports filter in from harder to reach areas.

More than 5 tons of water and sanitation materials have been dispatched from Oxfam’s warehouse in Barcelona to help those hit by the crisis.

An Oxfam response team has been mobilised from India to assess the humanitarian situation in Gorkha, the hardest hit district. Oxfam is also assessing what needs to be done to help people in Lalitpur, Lumjung District and across the border in India in Sitamarhi and Darbanga.

Oxfam New Zealand’s Executive Director, Rachael Le Mesurier, said: “The generosity of the public has been overwhelming and timely. However, as millions are now without safe shelter, clean water and sanitation due to this tragedy, more is needed.

“Nepal is among the world's poorest countries and lacks the infrastructure and resources to deal with a crisis of this scale. The world pulled together to support Christchurch, and we know Kiwis will do the same for our neighbours in Nepal.

“Our aim is to help as many people as quickly as possible through the money the public donates and through our determined team in Nepal.

“Hundreds of thousands of people have suddenly been left without adequate food, water, shelter and medical care. They are understandably desperate. We need to act fast,” said Le Mesurier.