On April 25, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake shock Nepal, leaving a trail of devastation with thousands of people dead or missing and buildings, infrastructure, as well as historic sites, reduced to rubble.
Survivors’ stories that have reached the world since Saturday through media or social channels are heartbreaking and paint a picture of crisis and emergency: People who lost their houses are struggling to find shelter. Water and food are in short supply and hospitals are overwhelmed with the influx of people in need of medical attention.
Local and international charities are currently pleading for donations to get supplies and services to people in need. For donors, the biggest challenge is to decide how and where to give to make sure their donation has an immediate impact on the ground.
In her latest Huffington Post column, relief and development consultant Loren Hyatt offers some great advice on how to be thoughtful about giving when a disaster strikes:
If you do decide to give to an aid organization responding to this disaster, be thoughtful about where you send your money, as not all those responding are the same. Here are a few things to consider:
- Some organizations have experience working in Nepal, and others do not. Knowing the local context is key to ensuring that response efforts are locally appropriate and actually meet needs.
- Some organizations have long-standing local partnerships, and others do not. Having roots in communities, knowing local community leaders and government officials, and understanding where needs are the greatest and the most effective way to reach those in need is crucial in alleviating suffering.
- Some organizations have the skills and technical expertise needed right now in Nepal while others may not. […]
To make the choice easier for you, we have put together a list of charities that meet all of these criteria and have shown a track record of on-the-ground impact over the last four days.
Humanitarian Coalition (HC) is a public foundation that helps survivors of international humanitarian disasters.
The Humanitarian Coalition is a “one-stop-shop” for all Canadians to give during times of international humanitarian crisis. To best be able to help survivors of disasters and to maximize Canadian fundraising and donation efforts, HC works with five member agencies that cover the entire spectrum of first response and disaster relief aid.
How is HC helping right now?
Through the work of its charitable members — CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam – Quebec, Plan Canada and Save the Children Canada — HC is currently…
- Providing hygiene equipment, as well as safe drinking water through emergency aid tanks.
- Helping with excavation work and debri removal.
- Providing tarpaulins and temporary shelters.
How you can help:
- Make a donation. Every dollar will be matched until May 25 through the Government of Canada’s Matching Fund program. If you donate through PayPal, no fees apply.
- Give to the Humanitarian Coalition with Chimp. You can leave a message for the charity to let them know that you’d like your donation to be used for disaster relief in Nepal.
- Text “TOGETHER” at 41010 to donate $10.
UNICEF’s mission is to help children around the world survive and thrive. The organization has been working in Nepal for 50 years and has 200 staff in the country. UNICEF launched a US$50.35 million appeal to get humanitarian assistance to children and their families.
How is UNICEF helping right now?
- Tents, hygiene kits, water purification tablets and buckets have been dispatched for distribution in Ghorka, the area at the epicentre of the earthquake.
- Vital supplies have been dispatched to Kavre and Dhading.
- UNICEF is delivering water purification tablets, buckets and hygiene kits in Bhaktapur, where only one in five people are estimated to have access to clean water.
- Water tankers are distributing clean water to 16 survivors’ camps in the Kathmandu valley.
- Teams help children who have been separated from their families.
- UNICEF is working with partners to provide psychological support for traumatized children.
How you can help:
- Make a donation. Right now, your donation will be tripled by two matching grants. The government of Canada will double every donation until May 25th and UNICEF’s corporate supporters have pledged to match all donations up to $80,000.
- Give to UNICEF Canada with Chimp. You can leave a message for the charity to let them know that you’d like your donation to be used for disaster relief in Nepal.
- Text “NEPAL” to 864233 to give $10.
Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders (MSF) is an international, independent medical relief organization, working in close to 70 countries. Currently, MSF has 61 staff members on the ground working to assist those affected by the earthquake.
How is MSF helping right now?
- On April 28, a surgical team arrived in Kathmandu to be deployed with a mobile field hospital, which is en route to Kathmandu.
- On-the-ground teams are looking into improving the water and sanitation situation at various makeshift camps in and around the centre of Kathmandu.
- Teams on the ground are currently assessing needs and capacity in four hospitals in Kathmandu with a focus on trauma departments (to understand the capacity to deal with “crush syndrome“).
- MSF has donated wound-dressing kits to hospitals in Kathmandu.
How you can help:
- Make a donation to support MSF’s lifesaving work.
- Give to MSF with Chimp. You can leave a message for the charity to let them know that you’d like your donation to be used for disaster relief in Nepal.
The Canadian Red Cross Society is part of the largest humanitarian network in the world, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. To help survivors in Nepal, the Canadian Red Cross has set up a Nepal Region Earthquake Fund and is providing on-the-ground support through volunteers and staff.
How is the Canadian Red Cross helping right now?
- Staff and volunteers are assisting in search and rescue efforts and administering first aid to the injured.
- The Red Cross blood bank in Kathmandu is providing blood supplies to the main medical facilities in the capital.
- The Red Cross is mobilizing additional resources from its hubs in New Delhi, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok, and is releasing funds from its Disaster Response Emergency Fund to support the initial emergency response.
- More Canadian aid workers and a mobile field hospital are currently on their way to Nepal.
How you can help:
- Make an online donation to the Canadian Red Cross Nepal Region Earthquake Fund. Every dollar will be matched until May 25 through the Government of Canada’s Matching Fund program.
- Give to the Canadian Red Cross with Chimp. You can leave a message for the charity to let them know that you’d like your donation to be used for disaster relief in Nepal.
- Call 1-800-418-1111 to make a donation.
- Text REDCROSS to 45678 and donate $10 — or 30333 to give $5.
SOS Children’s Villages provides orphaned and abandoned children around the world with a safe and caring home, and helps strengthen vulnerable families. The organization has been in Nepal for over 40 years
How is SOS Children’s Villages helping right now?
- SOS Nepal has been involved in the immediate response, including assisting with excavation, securing food and water and organizing medical assistance.
- The SOS Children’s Villages team is helping unaccompanied children who have been separated from their families.
- To assist children and their families, local teams have set up child-friendly spaces, emergency relief camps and are handing out “Home in a Box” kits, that will enable families to have shelter in the short to medium term.
How you can help:
- Make an online donation to SOS Children’s Villages’ Nepal Emergency Relief Fund. Every dollar will be matched until May 25 through the Government of Canada’s Matching Fund program.
- Give to SOS Children’s Villages Canada via Chimp. You can leave a message for the charity to let them know that you’d like your donation to be used for disaster relief in Nepal.
How is charity: water helping right now?
- Charity: water is providing funds and is working together with its two local partners to cover the most urgent needs, such as water, food, shelter, sanitation, hygiene, and emergency care for the injured.
How you can help:
- Make a donation and 100% will reach charity: water’s local partners.
Please give to these amazing organizations to allow them to continue their important work and make a difference for people in need.