Category: Humanitarian Disaster

Nepal Earthquake

I am deeply saddened at the extensive humanitarian disaster unfolding primarily in Nepal, but also in Tibet and parts of India and Bangladesh.  My heart goes out to all those affected, in Nepal and surrounding areas, but also in the UK – a large community of Nepalese have lived here for generations, and many UK residents have relatives either visiting or working in Nepal.

British nationals who need help with Brits currently in Nepal should contact the Foreign Office’s emergency consular response unit – 020 7008 0000.  The FCO has regular updates about Nepal on their webpage Travel Advice Nepal

The most pragmatic way for UK residents to help communities in Nepal is to donate to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).  DEC coordinates funds for all the main aid agencies who are out there, on the ground in Nepal.  The collective includes a range of secular and religious charities, so there is at least one charity involved with DEC that will meet your personal preferences.  Please donate to them: http://www.dec.org.uk/

I know rescue workers in Nepal are struggling to reach remote populations.  One of the groups in the hills right now trying to reach people on the knife-edge of survival is the Britain-Nepal Medical Trust.  I know UK doctors who have worked with them in the past, and the Britain-Nepal Medical Trust has been assisting the Nepalese health care system since 1968 – http://www.britainnepalmedicaltrust.org.uk/

Another group I know well, having fundraised for them a decade ago, is Tibet Relief Fund.  They care for the thousands of Tibetan refugees trying to survive in Nepal, having fled the Chinese annexation of Tibet – http://www.tibetrelieffund.co.uk/

The post-quake situation in Tibet itself is very unclear, which is giving serious rise to concern about the fate of entire communities there.  Initial reports on Sunday indicated Tibetan housing and infrastructure in at least two large areas had been devastated, and the weather was hampering rescue access.  The Tibetan aid effort is being left to China and, until today, three days after the main disaster struck, there has been scant information about how much is actually being done by China to help Tibetans.  Today’s first detailed update is troubling – http://english.cri.cn/12394/2015/04/28/3745s876350.htm – the window for immediate survival is closing rapidly, and hope is faltering for rebuilding the lives of thousands left homeless in Tibet.

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