Cambridge charity answers Nepal earthquake SOS
CBM UK, the overseas disability charity based in Cambridge, has mobilised aid workers on the ground and launched an emergency fundraising appeal for some of the most vulnerable people affected by the Nepal earthquake.
More than 5000 are confirmed dead and 6,500 injured and CBM said financial, medical and other aid was critical as the toll of victims continued to rise.
CBM’s main role is to care for people with disabilities in disaster zones and chief executive Kirsty Smith said the need for cash and emergency supplies could not be more pressing.
CBM’s emergency response unit has been in contact with its regional and country offices – plus staff directly affected on the ground – and is working to make contact with nine CBM-supported partner-projects in Nepal.
Smith said: “We are responding to ensure disabled people can access urgent relief. We are also planning support for our orthopaedic and rehabilitation partners in Nepal to help people who have been injured who need immediate medical aid. CBM is now calling on the support of the public to help reach those that have been affected by this devastating disaster.
“People with disabilities are disproportionally affected in an earthquake. They may not get warning messages of aftershocks or be able to reach food, water or emergency shelters.
“A recent UN report highlighted that people living with disabilities were more likely to be left behind or abandoned during evacuation in disasters.”
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck last Saturday (April 25) with the epicentre 81km northwest of Kathmandu. There were tremors of up to two minutes and by evening, at least 18 aftershocks had been felt.
Many areas that have been affected are still inaccessible and there is little or no information available on the condition of people living in remote areas.
Smith said many hospitals and emergency shelters are overwhelmed. Thousands of people are left without the most basic supplies. Food, clean water, shelter and medical are in urgent demand.
CBM Nepal worker, Mitralal Shrestha said: “A seven-storey building only 300 metres from my house collapsed. More than 25 families were staying there. It was totally destroyed.
“We helped the people – calling police, taking the injured to hospital. In the hospital there were no free beds; people were just lying on the floor getting treatment.”
• For more information or to donate to this appeal visit: www.cbmuk.org.uk or call 01223 484700.