WASHINGTON, April 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American Red Cross is committing an initial million dollars to the Nepal relief operation where hundreds of thousands of families are in dire need after last weekend's devastating earthquake.
EXTENT OF DESTRUCTION STILL NOT KNOWN The earthquake has thus far claimed the lives of thousands, injuring thousands more, as casualty numbers continue to rise.
Countless families are living out in the open, having either lost their homes or being fearful of going home due to the many aftershocks. The Nepal Red Cross Society is leading the relief effort, providing first aid and search and rescue support, blood to medical facilities and support to first responders. A priority for the Nepal Red Cross has been to distribute emergency tarpaulins which provide basic shelter.
The scale of the devastation is still being uncovered and getting to some of the most severely affected areas is not easy. Due to Nepal's mountainous terrain and poor road infrastructure, reaching affected villages often means using Sherpa's to carry the materials on foot up narrow mountain paths.
Red Cross disaster responders and relief supplies are beginning to arrive, however the main international airport in Kathmandu is a very basic facility and planes often have to wait long hours to land. With the destruction, this situation is even more dire and getting supplies and transporting them within the country is going to be a major challenge.
AMERICAN RED CROSS The American Red Cross is committing an initial $1,000,000 for the relief operation and working closely with the Nepal Red Cross and the global Red Cross network to coordinate additional support. Additionally, eight American Red Cross disaster specialists are on their way to Nepal to support emergency relief, cash transfer programing, information management, recovery planning and IT/telecoms.
The American Red Cross is also providing remote mapping and information management support and is arranging for supplies from its warehouses in Kuala Lumpar and Dubai to be sent to Nepal, including non-food items such as tarps, buckets, kitchen sets and blankets, although logistical transport remains a challenge.
HELP FINDING LOVES ONES The Nepal Red Cross Society and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) are working to reunite families separated by the earthquake in Nepal. To learn more, visit the Nepal Earthquake Restoring Family Links page on the ICRC web site.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visitredcross.orgor visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.