Nepal Earthquake – update


The news of the devastating earthquake in Nepal and the impact of its aftershocks this weekend are of great concern to everyone at Development Initiatives. The reports of rising death tolls are extremely worrying as the impact of the disaster becomes increasing clear.

Over the weekend we have been contacting our colleagues in Kathmandu to check that they are safe. For the past two years DI has been part of an initiative called Open Nepal alongside local partners Young Innovations, Freedom Forum and the NGO Federation of Nepal. We are pleased to say that we’ve heard from the Open Nepal coordination team – Pavitra, Josh and Gyanu – and that they and their families are all safe and well. Bibhusan Bista and his team at Young Innovations, and our colleagues at the NGO Federation of Nepal, are also all safe and accounted for. We will update on any further developments from others in the open data community when we hear them.

The task now turns to the need to see a quick response from governments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and multilateral institutions to provide the urgent assistance needed to the areas affected. The Government of Nepal has launched an appeal for international assistance alongside appeals by several major NGOs. The funding picture is still emerging, with latest announcements showing that at least $17.0 million has been pledged so far. With six million people living in extreme poverty (under $1.25 a day) in Nepal before the earthquake crisis, it is vital that assistance is targeted at those most in need.

We will continue to review the situation on the ground through updates from our colleagues in Nepal and monitor the global humanitarian response via our Global Humanitarian Assistance team.

Our deepest sympathies and thoughts are with all those affected by this disaster.

Notes

The Appeals: most major NGOs have launched appeals for funding and the

  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies has launched a US$34.9 million (33.4 million Swiss francs) emergency appeal to provide vital services including food, shelter and water and sanitation assistance for 75,000 vulnerable people. The IFRC has made an initial disaster relief emergency fund allocation of US$523,052 (500,000 Swiss francs.)
  • So far, an UN-coordinated appeal has not been launched.

Commitments/pledges

According to announcements and press reports the total from international donors has reached at least US$17.0 million, though it is possible that more has been committed but not yet officially announced. Commitments and pledges include:

  • The UK has given US$7.6 million (£5 million) to help people affected by the Nepal earthquake – £3 million to address immediate needs and £2 million to be given to the Red Cross. A flight chartered by the UK’s Department for International Development is expected to land in Kathmandu this morning carrying seven search and rescue crews, four search and rescue dogs, a medical support team and a hazardous materials specialist. They are taking more than 11 tonnes of kit, including torches, axes, rope, search cameras, stretchers and tents.
  • India has provided specialist teams from its National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) – 10 flights were planned yesterday, to airlift the army’s field hospitals, engineering task forces, water, food, national disaster response force teams, medical personnel and equipment, blankets and tents
  • US – the US is sending a disaster response team and US$1 million in aid to Nepal.
  • The European Commission is making US$3.6 million (€3 million) available in its immediate response to the vast devastation caused by the earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday. The EU Civil Protection Mechanism has been activated. Through it, member states including Belgium, Finland, Germany, Greece, Netherlands, Poland and Sweden immediately offered urgently needed search and rescue teams, water purification systems and technical assistance.
  • Canada – has announced US$4.1 million (CAD$5 million) worth of aid, to be dispersed through NGOs.
  • Singapore – has pledged US$75,020

Humanitarian assistance 2012 & 2013: Nepal received US$45 million in international humanitarian assistance in 2012, and initial estimates for 2013 suggest it totalled US$8.8 million. See our Nepal country profile.