It has now been 10 days since Nepal was struck by the deadliest earthquake to hit the country since 1934. The death toll has exceeded 7,500 and the United Nations reports that millions are affected. AJWS set up our Earthquake Emergency Relief Fund within hours of the earthquake and we’re providing immediate support and humanitarian relief to six organizations in Nepal.
Yesterday, two of our staff members arrived in Kathmandu, Nepal to assess how AJWS can best provide assistance to some of the most vulnerable communities devastated by the earthquake. Our Director of Disaster Response & International Operations, Samantha Wolthuis, and Associate Director of International Operations, Aaron Acharya, will meet with the local organizations we’re supporting and assess how AJWS can best provide both immediate emergency assistance and respond to the disaster in the long-term.
Samantha shared the update below after she and Aaron arrived at the Kathmandu airport.
On our way to the hotel, there were open fields filled with tents that people are living under. We are staying in what normally would be considered a very busy and touristy part of town and it is desolate. Many of the buildings have been vacated and labeled uninhabitable. The streets were dark last night although a few restaurants were open—with candlelight—and starting to get back on their feet. We have confirmed 5 meetings today—with a mix of local, potential future partners; 1 large international non-governmental organization; and a few people who have been recommended to us and can help us understand what is really happening on the ground.
Samantha and Aaron took the devastating photos below on a walk in Kathmandu earlier this morning.
Follow our blog in the coming days for more updates from Samantha and Aaron.