By Sarah Marzouk
The death toll of the Nepal earthquake has risen above 5,000 and more than 8,000 people have been left injured. Initial estimates say that 8 million people have been affected. (c) REUTERS/Navesh Chitraka
These numbers are likely to rise as rubble is cleared and as news comes in from remote and cut-off areas.
Aftershocks have been felt with remote villages still to be reached, cut-off by landslides and communications wiped out. This has made rescue and relief work extremely difficult.
Thousands are sleeping in open, as their homes are either destroyed or people are too scared to return to unstable buildings, particularly while aftershocks continue.
Nepal Earthquake Appeal
Leading UK aid agencies have announced a joint appeal to help survivors of the devastating earthquake.
The Disaster Emergencies Committee (DEC) brings together 13 leading UK aid charities – including our partner Age International – in times of crisis.
Money raised will support the efforts of DEC members to reach families affected by Saturday’s 7.8 quake which struck west of the capital Kathmandu.
DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed says: “The pictures and stories coming out of Nepal show families ripped apart by this disaster.”
“Survivors are in need of medical help, shelter, food and water. In many cases they have lost everything and our members are ready to help them rebuild.”
What we’re doing
HelpAge has an existing programme in Nepal and well-established local partners in the affected areas. We are also sending a team of experts to support our response.
Our initial focus will be to address the immediate needs of survivors including emergency shelter, food, drinking water and household items.
We are looking at the possibility of giving cash transfers to older men and women affected, so that they can buy essentials such as food. We will also work with other agencies to ensure older people are included in their responses.
There is strong evidence that older people suffer disproportionately from disasters. They are often not able to flee disasters due to reduced mobility and are also more vulnerable to injury and psychological stress caused by disasters.
How you can help:
To support older people affected by the Nepal earthquake: