Nepal has been shaken to its core by two shattering earthquakes – one on Saturday April 25 and another on Tuesday May 12 – which have left more than 8,000 people dead and at least 2.8 million displaced. Nepal is just 2,870 km away from the UAE, and with around 300,000 Nepali expats living and working in the country, it’s a catastrophe that has hit very close to home. International aid agencies have scrambled to send food money and provisions to help survivors. There are many UAE-based organisations also helping the cause that you can get involved with.
Appeal of the Embassy of Nepal, Abu Dhabi
The Embassy of Nepal in Abu Dhabi is asking individuals and organisations who want to donate cash, to do so through the Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund. Donations can be sent through branches of UAE Exchange, Habib Exchange and Al Ansari Exchange across the UAE for free.
This organisation, which has a mandate to eradicate poverty through the promotion of education in developing countries, has been operating educational and health programmes in Nepal since 2009. Its programmes and implementing partner buildOn – which has staff and volunteers in the region – have not been affected so far. It does not specialise in emergency relief, but will be continuing its educational and schools programmes in Nepal. Visit the website for details on getting involved.
Emirates Red Crescent
This organisation supports official authorities in humanitarian aid and is currently working with The Nepal Red Cross Society to bring assistance to survivors. People can donate to Emirates Red Crescent, and residents and nationals aged 18 to 50 can sign up to volunteer. Professional skills such as in medicine and law are highly sought after.
The UN children’s agency, UNICEF, estimates that nearly one million children in Nepal require humanitarian assistance. It states that 12 babies are born each hour without basic amenities. UNICEF is mobilising staff and emergency supplies to meet the urgent needs of children affected by the earthquake, focusing on water and sanitation, nutrition, education and child protection, and is loading 120 tons of aid to Kathmandu. To support their work, make donations online.
World Food Programme (WFP)
The World Food Programme (WFP) is the largest humanitarian agency in existence with one single mission: to eradicate and fight hunger. The organisation’s goals in Nepal are to deliver food and relief to survivors and provide logistics services to the wider community. The WFP needs Dhs436 million in order to supply food for three months to 1.4 million people affected in the country. To donate, visit the organisation’s website.
Zayed Giving Initiative
The organisation is calling for volunteer doctors – especially paediatricians, orthopaedic and critical care surgeons – to offer medical assistance in Nepal. The costs of flights, accommodation and training for suitable applicants will be covered by Zayed Giving Initiative. Professionals wishing to take part must email their CVs to the Initiative at email@example.com.
WFP aid in numbers
481 metric tons of relief items and emergency equipment were sent to Nepal by the WFP-managed United Nations Humanitarian Relief Depot (UNHRD) in Dubai for 17 humanitarian partners.
1.4 million people in the worst-affected areas have received food aid from WFP
2,625 metric tons of food has been distributed by WFP so far.
• To enquire about missing people in Nepal call Nepal’s Deputy Head of Mission in the UAE on 050 818 0280.
• Google has deployed its ‘Person Finder’ tool (www.google.org/personfinder/2015-nepal-earthquake), a crowd-sourced database where people can post and search for information about potential victims of disasters.
• Concerned family and friends can also check the Facebook page ‘Safety Check’ (www.facebook.com/safetycheck/nepalearthquake). The page allows users to quickly find and connect with friends in the area and mark them as safe once it is known that they are okay.