Nepal quake: children highly vulnerable, in urgent need of aid

A 7.9-magnitude earthquake has struck Nepal and caused widespread destruction. The death toll is rising fast, and children are in desperate need of shelter, food and water. Rescuers are digging through the debris of collapsed buildings trying to reach survivors, but with electricity networks down, the challenges are mounting. You can support this work today.

The needs of children and vulnerable communities in Nepal must be prioritised in the wake of the weekend's devastating earthquake. With the help of Australian supporters, Plan is on the ground preparing for the coordinated distribution of immediate aid, and the resources needed for short and long-term recovery. The most vulnerable children and families in remote and cut-off rural areas will also be reached.

Plan is receiving reports of widespread devastation in remote districts located just west of the earthquake's epicentre, with a further 6.7-magnitude aftershock felt in the region yesterday afternoon, closing Kathmandu airport and hampering the delivery of aid.

"We have teams that have gone into remote communities in Makwanpur and Baglung, close to the epicentre, and an assessment team is headed to Pokhara this evening," said Mattias Bryneson, Country Director of Plan Nepal.

"There is widespread destruction, collapsed buildings, schools severely damaged, and many roads are blocked due to landslides in rural areas," said Bryneson, who traveled by road to Kathmandu from the country's South East yesterday.

A Nepalese man carries a child as he walks past destroyed buildings 

Reaching out to the most vulnerable

Some of the worst affected areas are communities of Dalit people, sometimes referred to as the "untouchable" caste. These are already some of Nepal's poorest and most marginalised, vulnerable communities, making their needs all the more urgent and acute.

"It is starting to rain in many areas, and all over the region people are living outside with little or no shelter, children are crying, and health care facilities are overrun," said Bryneson.

"We're working to coordinate aid in these areas, and prioritising the needs of children and the most vulnerable."

Plan International is working with the government of Nepal, UN agencies, and NGOs to coordinate the distribution of relief. Experienced teams from Plan Nepal are in communities throughout the affected areas, and teams of international specialists are en route to Nepal to aid the relief effort.

Our work is impossible without your help

"We know Australians are generous people and our friends in Nepal are in urgent need of our support. We hope every Australian can make a donation – even the smallest donation can make a huge difference to people who really need our help right now," says Plan Australia's Disaster Response Manager Rohan Kent.

Children in Nepal are in urgent need of your help. Support this lifesaving work here.

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