In 2006, I spent nearly a year living and working in Kathmandu and the villages North of Pokhara—some of the areas worst hit by the earthquake.
From what I’ve heard from my friends on the ground there, the situation is even worse than the media has portrayed, and is getting worse. There aren’t enough hospitals to help the wounded, limited infrastructure to deal with the bodies of the deceased, limited fresh water in the best of times, the mountains have been ravaged by landslides, and there have been fires in many villages. Worse yet, it’s the rainy season, which means all those sleeping outside are doing so in the cold and wet.
But we shouldn’t lose heart. The Nepali people are among the strongest on earth, in mind, body, and heart. And they are natural community organizers: my friend walked 5km with her 2-year-old daughter to donate blood in a blood drive. Doctors are banding together joining expeditions into the mountains where they’re needed most. There are hundreds of stories of the Nepali community in the U.S. coming together to offer one another solace, and to send funds and supplies to Nepal to help with the recovery efforts.
If you want to help, consider donating to one of the organizations below, some of which are BSD clients (marked with an *), and others we’ve heard are doing good work on the ground.
Americares delivers “medicines and medical supplies to a trusted network of locally-based providers.”
CARE was one of the first international aid agencies to work in Nepal, and are already on the ground providing aid and relief.
Direct Relief will be coordinating with local and emergency response partners in the hours and days ahead, along with corporate and technology companies. Since 2008, Direct Relief has delivered over $1,000,000 worth of medicines and supplies to its charitable healthcare provider partners in Nepal.
Global Giving Nepal Fund
According to the site, all donations to this fund will support earthquake relief and recovery efforts: “Initially, the fund will help first responders meet survivors’ immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, this fund will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts run by local, vetted local organizations.”
Heifer works with more than 50,000 farming families in the affected districts. The Heifer Disaster Rehabilitation Fund provides emergency supplies to help families survive this immediate crisis, and lays the foundation for rebuilding and restoration efforts.
To assist with recovery efforts, Federations have opened a Nepal Relief Fund. One hundred percent of all money raised will be allocated toward relief efforts.
Oxfam workers provide direct relief in the region, including “clean water, toilets, and shelter to thousands of people.”
Save the Children
Already working in Nepal, Save the Children’s relief efforts will be focused on vulnerable children and their families.
The Gorkha Foundation
The Gorkha Foundation is directly connected to the villages at the epicenter of the quake. The organization has run the hospital in the town of Gorkha since the Maoist left years ago and know the area well. Donations will go directly toward helping the people who need it most.
UN Central Emergency Relief Fund
The UN has released $15 million through the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to enable humanitarian aid organizations to rapidly scale up operations and provide immediate assistance to people in need. However, additional funding is needed to continue relief operations, especially as food insecurity is on the rise.
United Way Worldwide*
UWW has established the United Way Worldwide Nepal Earthquake Recovery Fund with a focus on long-term recovery and relief. They will work with United Way network partners in the immediate region, including public and private entities.
US Fund for UNICEF*
When it comes to emergency and disaster relief, UNICEF is there for children before, during and after crises, and UNICEF is on the ground in Nepal working to provide critical aid to children and families. UNICEF and partners are planning to reach approximately 1.3 million children in 21 affected districts, focusing on water and sanitation, shelter, health, and nutrition.
World Food Program USA
Not only is WFP bringing in food aid, but it is also managing the United Nations Humanitarian Air Service, leading the humanitarian community’s Logistics Cluster. It will need more than $150 million dollars for urgent care and long term relief.