Article by Elisabeth Teichner | esPResso Committee Member
It has only been two weeks since a devastating earthquake, larger than any other one felt in eight decades, hit Nepal. The tremor reached a magnitude of 7.8, affecting 8.1 million people out of the 28 million living in Nepal. With more than 5,000 reported deaths and 11,000 injured, this shocking event has captured international attention. An article by the Huffington Post covered the impact of the natural disaster on small villages, such as Pauwathok, Nepal, that endured extreme amounts of damage. The people are sending out cries for help, such as a message made from a wooden sign at the entrance of a torn apart mountain that reads “WE NEED HELP. PLEASE HELP.” Even one week after the earthquake shocked the country, not one soldier or government official had visited the village with any aid. U.N. humanitarian officials say they are worried about the spread of disease in the areas. That danger combined with how isolated the villages are makes sending help close to impossible. There has been a great amount of unrest among the people of Nepal, while charities, that are eager to offer help, are having difficulty doing so.
On May 8 the UN News Centre reported that the World Food Programme is having “severe logistical challenges” getting aid to the millions of people in need. The initial focus after the earthquake hit was search and rescue, but now weeks after the earthquake, millions are left without food, homes or any place to go. More helicopters are being brought in due to the remote nature of the locations where the food and aid is needed the most.
Independent charities are doing all that they can to raise funds to send food, medical aid and anything else that is needed. According to an article by PRI, several nonprofits such as AmeriCares, CARE, GlobalGiving and Operation USA are independently collecting donations from anyone willing to help. Unfortunately, Nepal has a long road to recovery ahead of it, and the rate at which aid is reaching the country is not what was originally hoped for.
*Editor’s note: Since this article was written, another earthquake hit Nepal on Tuesday, May 12 with aftershocks lasting until Wednesday, May 13. According to CNN News, the 7.3 magnitude earthquake killed over 80 people from Nepal and India.