Canada is contributing $5 million to relief efforts in Nepal, deploying its Disaster Assistance Response Team and matching donations by Canadians dollar for dollar.
Centred outside the capital city Kathmandu, Saturday’s 7.8-magnitude quake was the worst to hit the South Asian nation of 31 million in more than 80 years and, according to reports Monday, has left more than 4,000 dead, a toll that continues to climb.
Assistance is now urgently needed for the hundreds of thousands left on the ground in Nepal without food, shelter or services. Relief operations will be obstructed by rainy weather, aftershocks and damaged infrastructure.
The Nepalese community in Canada is relatively small—some 9,780 people according to the 2011 Census (compared to 139,415 residents of Sri Lankan origin)—and efforts are being made by many organizations across Canada to assist in raising awareness of the devastation in Nepal, and in gathering funds and resources for the relief effort.
Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development, announced Saturday that Canada will provide $5 million in initial aid to humanitarian organizations to assist in providing affected people with access to food, drinking water, shelter and health, hygiene and protection services.
Ottawa said Monday that it will match—dollar-for-dollar—all eligible contributions to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund until May 25, but retroactively to when donations first started streaming in on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Jason Kenney confirmed Saturday night that the government is deploying a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to Nepal immediately in response to the earthquake. DART is a military team designed to deploy on short notice to deal with natural disasters or humanitarian emergencies.
APF Canada encourages Canadians to support those affected by this disaster by making a donation to the Canadian Red Cross or to one of the other registered Canadian and international relief organizations assisting with the relief effort:
- Canadian Red Cross Nepal Region Earthquake Fund
- UNICEF Canada – helping children and families
- Doctors Without Borders – deploying eight medical teams
- World Vision Canada – helping children and families gain access to food, shelter, clean water
- Save the Children – helping vulnerable children
- OXFAM – providing food and water
- The Salvation Army – aid workers en route
- Habitat for Humanity – community re-building
- Islamic Relief Canada – providing vital emergency aid
- ShelterBox – providing shelter
- Canadian Medical Assistance Teams – mobilized assistance team; accepting money and Aeroplan miles
- CARE Canada – helping with immediate, life-saving needs
- Plan Canada – helping children and families
- SOS Children's Villages – assisting unaccompanied and displaced children and their families
- UN’s World Food Programme – specialized logistics and emergency response teams on the ground distributing food to the survivors
Information summarized from various Canadian news sources.