Singaporean NGO Mercy Relief says that its remaining team of three aid workers in Nepal are safe after a second massive earthquake struck the country on 12 May at 1500hrs Singapore time. At the time, two team members were delivering aid to communities in an extremely remote area east of Kathmandu, Ramecchap District. A third member of the team was at Kathmandu airport waiting to board a plane for Singapore. The third aftershock measuring 6.3 magnitude was recorded 33km from Ramecchap District. At the time of release, all three are now safe in Kathmandu.
Mercy Relief’s aid and assessment operation on 12 May was the last in the acute relief phase responding to the April temblor. The team is now planning its next phase of post-relief response.
Chairman of Mercy Relief Michael Tay explains Mercy Relief’s next course of action in Nepal, “Our ground evaluation all point to the provision of shelter as a critical need. Mercy Relief will be devoting resources to assist with transitional housing and will be acting swiftly due to the impending monsoon.” Adding that “The hardest hit communities in the remote areas face serious logistical challenges in their rebuilding process. Transporting construction materials will be a slow and complex affair and now, further complicated by roads blocked by landslides caused during the second quake.”
Inadequate shelter and exposure to bad weather increase health risks such as respiratory infections, water borne diseases like diarrhea and cholera. Mercy Relief’s priority is to safeguard the survivors’ physical and psychological health, both key factors in the rebuilding process.
To help in process, are the relationships Mercy Relief have established in Nepal. “We have made many new friends in Nepal. From the onset of our response, we committed ourselves to a long term engagement in Nepal. We are also in consultation with Nepali community organisations in Singapore such the Nepalese Society, Singapore. All will pool and channel resources to help the survivors.”
Obtaining permission from relevant authorities in Nepal is crucial for any NGOs engaged in rebuilding projects. For Mercy Relief, it is vital to guarantee to donors that all funds are spent wisely and constructively, bearing maximum long-term impact.
The Singaporean NGO responded to the first Nepal earthquake 48 hours after it wreaked havoc on the country. Since then, the team has conducted over 24 relief distribution operations and eight medical missions in some of the remotest villages in Kathmandu and the Kavrepalanchok and Sindhupalchok districts, the hardest hit areas. In total they have reached out to 20,000 beneficiaries and the six person medical team treated 700 patients. Mercy Relief has received $700,000 in donations since it launched its fundraising appeal for the Nepal earthquake.
About Mercy Relief
Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.
In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.
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