Sydney, Australia, 27 April 2015: ChildFund Australia has launched an emergency appeal to provide urgent care and protection for children who’ve lost homes and loved ones in the powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday.
Initial government reports confirm that 30 out of 75 districts in the country have been affected about 40 per cent of the country. The earthquake was also felt across the region in India, Tibet, China and Bangladesh.
ChildFund staff in Nepal report the situation on the ground is absolutely devastating and the number of people killed, injured and affected by this earthquake continues to rise. As of this morning, more than 2,200 people have been confirmed dead and almost 6,000 injured, with these figures expected to increase as more bodies are uncovered from the rubble.
“There is an urgent need for food, water, medicine and shelter,” says Mariko Tanaka, ChildFund’s country director in Nepal. “Currently there is no electricity. Communication lines are also down. Many people have been displaced from their homes and have spent the night out in the open. There are many people injured and hospitals are unable to handle the situation.”
ChildFund, which has been working in Nepal for 20 years, is responding in Sindhupalchok district, one of the worst-affected areas. Initial reports from our partner staff estimate 80 per cent of mud houses in the communities have been destroyed. Children and families are now staying outdoors in freezing temperatures and need immediate assistance.
“Our primary concern is for the care and protection of children affected by this terrible disaster,” says ChildFund Australia CEO Nigel Spence. “We are working with our colleagues in Nepal to ensure the immediate needs of children are met. Our team on the ground is conductingÊa rapid assessment so that our response can get underway.”
Nigel Spence and Mariko Tanaka are both available for comment.