CAFOD has pledged an immediate £200,000 and launched an emergency appeal after Nepal was hit by a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake on Saturday. The Disasters Emergency Committee, of which CAFOD is a member, is also launching an appeal to raise funds for those affected.
With reports suggesting that at least 4,000 people have been killed, and more than 8 million affected, CAFOD’s partners have been working through the night to deliver aid to people who have fled their homes.
Matthew Carter, CAFOD’s Head of Humanitarian Department, said: “With power supplies down, there’s still virtually no news from remote villages near the epicenter, but the damage is likely to be extreme.
“After a disaster on this scale, the immediate needs will include food, shelter, emergency supplies and – crucially – clean water and sanitation to prevent the spread of disease. We are doing everything we can to support our local partners, and are deploying a specialist from our Emergency Response team from here in the UK.”
•£25 can provide clean water for four families for one month
•£50 can feed a family for two weeks
•£100 can provide emergency shelter for five families
The earthquake struck between the capital Kathmandu and the city of Pokhara on the morning of Saturday 25 April. CAFOD is coordinating closely with its sister agencies in the Caritas network of Catholic aid agencies.
As part of the second largest humanitarian network in the world, we have been working in Nepal for decades. Our strong presence, local partnerships and Church network enabled us to mobilise immediately following the quake, with Caritas Nepal distributing tarpaulins, food and water to devastated families in Kathmandu’s evacuation sites.
Father Pius Perumana S.J., Director of Caritas Nepal in Kathmandu, said: “Rescue is the first priority. Lots of people have lost their homes and are out on the street or in open spaces, so we will be looking to provide them with food and temporary shelter.”
In recent years, CAFOD has responded to major earthquakes in Haiti, Pakistan, Myanmar and the Philippines. Our local partner Caritas Nepal was formed in 1990 as the social action arm of the country’s Catholic Church, and provides emergency aid and long-term development projects in 50 of Nepal’s 75 districts.