By Embassy of the U.S., Nepal, May 01, 2015
The U.S. Government has committed $12.5 million in humanitarian funding to aid relief efforts in Nepal following the April 25 earthquake. U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) funds totaling $12.5 million will reach urban and rural communities in the hardest hit districts throughout Nepal.
Search and rescue operations are underway with a 129-person Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), which includes teams of urban search and rescue personnel from Fairfax and Los Angeles County Fire Departments. The teams are rescuing survivors, identifying victims, and conducting life-saving assessments of buildings in earthquake-hit areas. In addition, a 20-person U.S. military joint humanitarian assistance survey team arrived April 29 in Nepal to bolster the USAID DART response effort.
Priority concerns include shelter and protection for the estimated 2.8 million people displaced by the earthquake. USAID <https://www.facebook.com/USAID> will today begin distributing 700 rolls of heavy-duty plastic sheets (more versatile than tents) to up to 35,000 people. Through partner organization Save the Children and with the support of Nepal Army helicopters, USAID helped distribute prepositioned shelter kits from the central region warehouse to 1,020 residents of the northern Gorkha District yesterday. USAID has authorized partner organizations, Nepal Contraceptive Retail Sales (Ghar Ghar Ma Swasthya Project) and World Wildlife Fund (Hariyo Ban Project), to distribute essential life support products such as health commodities, water, tents, food, and hygiene products to informal tented camps and affected districts including Lamjung, Gorkha, Rasuwa, and Dhading.
Of the total $12.5 million USAID funds, the USAID Office of Food for Peace will use $2.5 million to provide emergency food assistance to those most in need. In addition, USAID has already committed $1 million of this overall total to Save the Children to address the immediate shelter and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs of earthquake victims. Additional funding will be distributed to relief agencies to provide materials, supplies, and expertise in support of earthquake relief efforts.
The U.S. Government continues to provide emergency relief, and has initiated preliminary plans to transition from relief efforts to resilient and sustainable long-term development efforts in earthquake-affected districts of Nepal.
The best way to help those affected is to make a monetary donation to a reputable humanitarian organization working in the disaster zone. Non-governmental organizations listed on USAID (https://www.usaid.gov/nepal-earthquake) and its Center for International Disaster Information (http://www.cidi.org/nepalrelief/#.VUIQd_mx4Zg) websites have issued appeals for donations.