Yale Himalaya Initiative

environment | livelihood | culture

Nepal Needs You | A Call for Action

April 28, 2015

On Saturday, April 25th a massive 7.8 richter scale earthquake hit Nepal. This was the worst earthquake to hit Nepal in 80 years. To date, over 5,000 persons have died, over 11,000 are injured, and over a 100,000 houses have been destroyed. Entire villages have been razed, and cultural landmarks lie in ruins. The UN estimates that life saving assistance and protection is required for 8 million people in Nepal. Additionally, 415 million dollars are required for vital humanitarian relief. The potential for damaging aftershocks is projected throughout April and May. The people of Nepal are in dire need of assistance.

To the extent of our knowledge, Yale students, alumni, and the families of Nepali Yale students are safe. For the past three days, members of the Nepali Association of Yale Affiliates (NAYA) have been helping to translate the Facebook Safety Check and Donation features into Nepali in addition to translating key documents for international organizations. Alongside the Yale Himalaya Initiative, NAYA is currently working with the Yale Urbanization and Globalization Lab to identify and prioritize, through remote sensing, the most vulnerable areas where relief efforts are needed.

While we are trying in our own ways to help the relief efforts in Nepal, you too can help the people of Nepal by supporting immediate and much-needed humanitarian efforts.

The relief initiatives referenced below, all non-profit 501(c)(3), represent projects focusing on disaster risk reduction in Nepal. Some are concentrating efforts in the city of Kathmandu and the surrounding Kathmandu Valley, where communities are in desperate need of shelter and basic supplies. Others are focused on providing relief to communities in rural areas located at the epicenter of the initial earthquake and at sites affected strongly by the devastating aftershocks. We hope that you will consider supporting one or more of these initiatives and help us rebuild Nepal.

Yale has organized a relief fund to streamline donations to all five organizations listed below. The Yale relief fund shall distribute the collected evenly across all five organizations. You will need to specify “Nepal Earthquake” in the “Your Department/Division/Unit” section.

Educate the Children International (ETC) has set up an earthquake fund to provide relief to communities affected by the earthquake in Dolakha district of Nepal, a remote district especially hard-hit by aftershocks. This is an area that ETC has worked in for over a decade.

Dzi Foundation is mobilizing to rebuild homes, schools, and local infrastructure in remote areas of Eastern Nepal struck by the earthquake. They have been working with communities in the region since 1998.

Habitat for Humanity has worked in Nepal for 18 years. Disaster response teams are coordinating operations with local government agencies and disaster relief partners, and will be assembling emergency shelter kits. Shelters are in immediate demand.

International Medical Corps’ emergency response teams are operating Mobile Medical Units to deliver critically needed medical care and medicines to the regions hardest-hit by the earthquake. The response team has been on the ground since April 25 when the quake struck, and has been distributing hygiene kits, water purification tablets, and other supplies to keep families healthy. Moving forward, your gift will help teams support survivors, restore healthcare, and help Nepal rebuild. If you donate through Facebook, they will match your donation up to $2 million to contribute to local relief organizations.

Oxfam has invested significant time, effort, and resources over the years working with partner groups in Nepal on “disaster risk reduction” programs. In the aftermath of the disaster, Oxfam aid workers are on the ground, providing clean water, toilets, and shelter to thousands of people.

This is in no way an exhaustive list. It is a place to start thinking about concrete ways to make a difference for Nepal.

We are profoundly grateful for the outpouring of love and support from the Yale community  that we have received. Your kindness strengthens us in this tragic time. If you have any questions, please contact himalaya@yale.edu.

With thanks for your thoughts and prayers,

The Nepali Association of Yale Affiliates

Yale Himalaya Initiative