Photo by Navesh Chitrakar/REUTERS
As international emergency aid continues to arrive, the death toll in Nepal soared beyond 3,700 just two days after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the impoverished country. Action Against Hunger//Action Contre la Faim (ACF) has estimated that nearly 2 million people will be affected by medium and long-term effects of the earthquake. With 49.3% of children under five being chronically malnourished prior to the earthquake compounded by limited access to food and water, Nepal is facing a severe crisis.
We continue to strengthen our team responding to the earthquake as 11 people will arrive in Kathmandu in the next two days. These experts will conduct assessments in Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH), Food Security, and Mental Health and Care Practices (MHCP) in the second and third circles around the epicenter of the earthquake. There is currently little information outside Kathmandu as access to those impacted remain difficult. However, we are working non-stop to find ways to reach isolated populations.
As our Regional Operations Director for Asia, Shawsat Saraf, says:
“Our impression is that as soon as we are able to do assessments and reach out to people in rural and semi-urban areas away from Kathmandu, we will suddenly see a very different kind of disaster in terms of both nature and scale.”
Our expertise in water, hygiene and sanitation after a disaster allows our teams to prepare stocks of equipment that will arrive in coming days. Other essential items such as tents (including baby tents) and blankets are also being sent.