The Irish Red Cross has pledged €50,000 to assist in the relief effort following Saturday’s earthquake in Nepal and subsequent aftershocks.
Head of International John Roche who is a former Red Cross Head of Disaster Management in the region said “a local plan had been prepared some time ago and emergency stocks of relief goods are in place. For previous experiences we have learnt that an influx of goods from abroad can create logistical difficulties.
“Supplies as they are needed can be locally sourced so that’s why cash is the most important contribution we can make at this time. It also means that goods can be brought to the required locations very quickly.
“There are lots of volunteers on the ground and expertise has arrived quickly because the emergency plan involved having skilled people ready to deploy.
“Our service for locating missing people or registering a missing person from home is also working well. To date, we believe that 13 – 14 Irish people are reported missing and already as many as three have been found.
“Strong after-shocks are continuing and many people are sleeping in the open, fearful of returning to their homes.
“Rain is predicted for the next three days and food, safe drinking water, emergency shelter and medical care are expected to be the most urgent needs of the affected population. Most of these relief goods can be sourced locally so we really need to get cash into the area as soon as possible,” Mr Roche said.
The Irish Red Cross has launched an appeal for funds to support the effort. Donations can be made online at redcross.ie or by phoning 1850 507070.
Mr Roche added that aid is likely to be needed for some weeks to come as accessibility to towns and villages closer to the epicentre of the quake is hindered by the quake’s destructive force. This has also affected communications which makes it difficult to establish the welfare of those missing.
The Red Cross has also discussed the relief effort with the President of Nepal Red Cross who warned against an uncoordinated response which can hamper efforts.
John Roche is available for interview, contact: 087 285 4318
Paul Anderson, Communications Executive: 087 7433 275