Humza Yousaf: Funding for Nepal Earthquake Victims
This weekend a tragedy occurred in Nepal.
Following a massive earthquake which hit Nepal this weekend at least 3,351 people have died with more than 6,800 injured (as of 9am 27 April).
Natural disasters are the cause of so much heart-break and tragedy, but through all of the sorrow, loss, fear and uncertainty, we are given the opportunity, as global citizens, to stand shoulder to shoulder with the rest of the world and support those who desperately need it.
Tremors were felt across the region as far as India, Bangladesh and Tibet and the quake also triggered an avalanche on Mount Everest killing 17 people. Nepal’s major cities, including the capital Kathmandu, have been badly damaged and rural areas near the epicentre have been completely cut off by avalanches.
In Kathmandu hospitals are overwhelmed, water and electricity are cut off, and people are sleeping in the streets for fear of further quakes.
So far an estimated 2.8 million children need urgent humanitarian aid.
This morning the First Minister of Scotland announced that we stand with the international community and will do what we can to help, which is why we will donate £250,000 to the Disasters Emergency Committee in Scotland’s Nepal Earthquake Appeal which is launched today.
The funding will be allocated to Disasters Emergency Committee members in Nepal who will provide immediate aid to those affected by the earthquake and in time, will assist the people of Nepal begin the long road back to normality.
DEC member agencies and their partners are working urgently to provide emergency shelter, food, clean water and blankets. Once immediate, life-saving needs are met they will work with individuals, families and communities to support them to rebuild their lives.
- Oxfam are working to provide clean water, sanitation and emergency food support;
- Christian Aid are providing emergency shelter, food, clean drinking water, clothes and basics like blankets and hygiene kits;
- British Red Cross volunteers are searching for survivors, providing first-aid to the wounded and running blood banks;
- Save the Children, Islamic Relief and Tearfund provide emergency kits to families and doing whatever it takes to save lives.
Many other organisations who operate in Scotland have already been helping and I would like to extend my thanks to them as well and the five Scottish Fire and Rescue Service officers from Aberdeen are to be deployed to Nepal to help with the recovery operation.
The EMMS (Edinburgh Medical Missionary Society) who are already anticipating a need to rebuild essential infrastructure such as hospitals; and the SCIAF (Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund), Mercy Corps, and UNICEF providing essential humanitarian assistance on the ground.
Although the Scottish Government is supporting the efforts of these charities, the DEC need further support to deal with the emergency as it unfolds, and the extent of the devastation becomes clearer.
I would urge people across Scotland to donate to the DEC appeal, whatever they can afford, and work together to help the people of Nepal rebuild their lives.