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World Vision distributing vital supplies to victims of Nepal

World Vision distributing vital supplies to victims of Nepal earthquake

Experts have long warned Nepal is extremely vulnerable to quakes
World Vision plans to go by vehicle, then foot to access remote communities
Staff describe people in shock, spending the night in tents as aftershocks continue
World Vision teams have begun coordinating aid efforts to assist those impacted by the 7.8 magnitude quake that struck Nepal on Saturday. Staff have started making their way to remote, rural communities to assess the damage. It will take several hours to get to some places; teams will travel first by vehicle and then by foot when the terrain becomes too difficult.

World Vision plans to reach 50,000 people in the coming days with temporary shelter, first-aid, water purifiers, mosquito nets, sleeping bags, cooking sets and hygiene kits. Supplies will be need to be airlifted into the hardest to reach areas.

In addition, the humanitarian and development agency is setting up Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) in the three worst hit districts (Kathmandu, Bakhtapur and Lalitpur) so children there can have a safe place to play and receive psychosocial support.

Medical assistance in rural areas is likely to be a serious issue as facilities are often rudimentary and not staffed by a registered doctor.

In Kathmandu, World Vision staff say roads are blocked with debris and old building and temples are in ruins. The modern buildings that remain standing are uninhabitable with people preferring to ride out the continuing aftershocks in fields. Few stores are open and there are limited places to get supplies.

“There is a real sense of community at the moment; people cooking for each other that sort of thing. But it is clear supplies are running out. It’s not at panic stage yet, but it’s starting to get that way,” says World Vision Nepal’s Operations Director Philip Ewert.

Nepal has long ranked at the top of the list of places most vulnerable to earthquakes. Because of that, World Vision had been implementing earthquake preparedness training for communities and facilitating workshops for schools for some years.

ENDS

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