The UK public has donated over £19 million to the Disasters Emergency Committee Nepal Earthquake Appeal, a day after it was launched.
As reports of the first relief efforts begin to come through, these funds will help scale up efforts to reach more of the estimated 8 million people affected by Saturday’s earthquake, which struck west of the capital Kathmandu.
Hundreds of thousands of people, many of them in remote and hard-to-reach villages, have had their homes damaged or destroyed and are in desperate need of food, water, shelter and medical care.
DEC Chief Executive Saleh Saeed said: "People in the UK have, once again, shown their generosity by responding to help those whose lives have been devastated by disaster.
“The strong personal TV appeal made by Joanna Lumley last night has really struck a chord with the public. The UK government helped, by matching the first £5 million worth of donations.
“The DEC is extremely grateful to The Queen and HRH The Prince of Wales for joining the rest of the UK public in supporting the appeal. The overwhelming response of so many will enable our member agencies to continue to reach communities affected.
“The region is hard to access and has thrown up many challenges for emergency relief teams, but aid is now getting through. Our member agencies are scaling up their efforts to provide essentials such as food, clean water, temporary shelter and medical care.”
“Like so many others watching the shocking images from Nepal over the last few days, I’m deeply saddened by events and my thoughts are with all those struggling to survive,” said Joanna Lumley. “The Nepalese are a resilient people but this catastrophe has hit them very hard. They’re desperately in need of life-saving help and I hope British people will support us.”
The £19 million total is made up of £14 million given by the UK public by text, phone and online, and £5 million from the UK government through Aid Match.
While the DEC doesn’t generally make comparisons between its appeals, the amount donated to the Nepal Earthquake Appeal has exceeded previous amounts raised in the Philippines Typhoon, East Africa Crisis, Haiti Earthquake and Pakistan Floods Appeals within 24 hours of opening.
To make a donation to the DEC Nepal Earthquake Appeal click here, call the 24 hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque. You can also donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.
• £25 can provide clean water for four families for one month
• £50 can feed a family for two weeks
• £100 can provide emergency shelter for five families
Aid delivered so far includes:
• ActionAid relief teams have distributed non-perishable food items, and mats and tarpaulins to provide shelter for 500 people in Badikhel, Lalitpur District (south of Kathmandu).
• Christian Aid has given out one million water purification tablets to provide safe drinking water for affected communities, as well as water purification sachets which can treat 744,000 litres of water. Teams have also distributed 5,000 tarpaulins for shelter (1,000 by air and 4,000 by road). Medical camps have also been set up in the Gorka district.
• Oxfam is working in four open-air sites in the Kathmandu Valley, delivering water to two locations and starting to build pit toilets in four sites. Teams have also carried out distributions in temporary camps in Kathmandu Valley. So far, 180 baby packs, which include baby clothes, blankets and soap, have also been given out.
• Save the Children is distributing tarpaulins in Gorkha and Sindulpalchowk and are giving out 498 blankets, 300 mosquito nets and 600 education kits Makwanpur and Sindhuli. In partnership with DFID, they have also deployed a specialist medical team to help deal with the huge numbers of injuries.
• World Vision emergency response teams have distributed 1,000 tarpaulins and 600 blankets in Bhaktapur.