Heavy Earthquake in Nepal: AWO & ADH coordinate Aid

On Saturday, 25th April 2015 the hardest earth quake since 80 years hit Nepal. More than 4.000 people died in Nepal and hundreds in India. 10.000 people are wounded, hundred thousands lost their houses, livestock and property. Since the first day the Regional Office Team of AWO International is assessing the situation. Currently an emergency relief project is prepared.

Our thoughts are with the victims of the Earthquake and the ones who lost their beloved ones as well as their livelihood.

All staffs of Regional Office in Lalitpur (south Kathmandu) and their families are fine. Some lost their houses. At time we spend the night in the open areas as aftershocks are still approaching. The situation in Kathmandu and Lalitpur ist alarming. Food and (drinking) water get short, the bad hygiene conditions in the big camps might lead to epidemics, and information is weak.

AWO Team assesses the situation and needs in different parts of the country, coordinates with the Government of Nepal, with bodies of the UN system, other INGOs and potential NGOs in the most heavily affected areas near the epicenter to start an emergency response project at the soonest. Currently AWO International coordinates a visit of a media and coordination team of ADH (German Relief Coalition).

The relief operation will be implemented by help of Civil Society Organizations. As these are known for long time we are sure that donations will be utilized in a most effective way. Our NGO partners have regional networks; relief items will be distributed by help of existing social structures as cooperatives, saving and credit groups, women groups and other self-help initiatives in coordination with stakeholders of the district clusters coordinating the humanitarian aid in the respective areas.

AWO International committed 50.000 Euro from the own organizations Emergency fund and is in process to allocate further funds in coordination with Germany’s Relief Coalition (Aktion Deutschland Hilft - ADH) and other international actors. To achieve greater impact we need more donations.

Media: In the last days a huge number of International media contacted our Regional Office for interviews. Unfortunately internets as well as mobile phone communication are widely down. So no pre-scheduling of interviews can take place at the moment. Please try to reach us via office land line. Please understand that we have limited staffs who are actively engaged in emergency response coordination; so it will not be possible to respond in all cases immediately.

How can I help? We are grateful for the many offers from volunteers from Germany who are ready to help in Nepal in person. Please understand that we cannot enable food and shelter and that we have no free personal capacities to backstop the placement of volunteers. We are working through National Non-Governmental Organizations who know the area and with regional experts who speak local languages. The most needed help at this critical moment are funds so that we can help the neediest ones in an efficient and non-bureaucratic way. Please donate to our Emergency Fund:

Account holder: AWO International e.V., Utilization:  "Erdbeben Nepal"
Bank: Bank für Sozialwirtschaft, IBAN: DE83 1002 0500 0003 2211 00, BIC: BFSWDE33BER

Thank you!!

Felix Neuhaus
Regional Director South Asia
Lalitpur, Nepal
www.awo-southasia.org, www.awointernational.de

Citizens of Lalitpur search for survivors after the first quake, on 25th April

AWO International Representative Felix Neuhaus at the destroyed Durbar

People safe what is left in Bhaktapur (Photo ADH /Schammberger)

Square of Patan (Lalitpur), on 26th April

Needs assessment in the camps at safe open spaces

Devastated project area of the AWO-Pourakhi Migration project in Sangla