Kathmandu / Geneva. May 16, 2015. Three weeks on from the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) continues to scale-up its efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of Nepalese who are in urgent need of assistance. At a press briefing in Kathmandu, the IFRC’s Secretary-General, Elhadj As Sy, announced that the IFRC has increased its emergency appeal to 85 million Swiss Francs (USD 93 million, Euros 81.5 million) which will help the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) in its efforts to assist 700,000 earthquake survivors over the next two years.
“We are still in full emergency mode – the task at hand remains expanding our response while also adapting to meet emerging needs. This involves local and international actors pulling together in a united effort,” said Mr Sy. “Last Tuesday’s earthquake struck a double-blow to thousands of people who remain extremely vulnerable. Our challenge is to restore their dignity by helping them through this critical period. We were here before the disaster, we are here now and we will be here in the long term, supporting communities as they recover.”
Since the April 25 earthquake, Red Cross teams have focused on providing survivors with emergency medical assistance, together with food and non-food relief and emergency shelter. Over 221,000 people are now sheltering under tents or tarpaulins provided by the Red Cross; the aim is to reach at least 500,000 in the coming weeks.
“Our teams on the ground in Dolakha and Sindhupalchok districts are reporting extensive destruction to homes caused by the second earthquake,” explains Dev Ratna Dhakwa, Secretary General of the Nepal Red Cross Society. “The effects have also been felt in the Kathmandu Valley. Just as people felt that it was safe to return to their homes they are now back to spending their nights camped out in the open. This has driven up the demand for emergency shelter materials”.
The IFRC appeal covers a number of areas including; emergency shelter and support for rebuilding homes; food and non-food relief; cash distributions; livelihoods support; clean water and improved sanitation; basic healthcare services and psychosocial support.
“People want to rebuild as quickly as possible and a large part of our appeal is designed to enable households to repair or rebuild their own homes”, said Mr. Sy. “We will also be channelling support to families so that they can improve their livelihoods through income earning activities and support small enterprise revival.” ENDS
For further information, please contact:
Patrick Fuller, IFRC Asia Pacific communications manager
Tel: +977 9803914859 +60122308451 / Patrick.firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @pat_fuller and @IFRCAsiapacific
Nichola Jones, IFRC communications delegate
Tel: +977 9803914943 +447793167032 / Twitter @nicjones81
Benoit Carpentier, IFRC team leader, public communications
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 million people each year through its 189 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit www.ifrc.org. You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.