Nepal earthquake: Heavy rains to worsen humanitarian situation

Emergency shelter desperately needed in affected areas, especially in remote communities, reports Plan Canada
Plan staff in the field bring aid to children affected by the Nepal earthquake

Plan International staff are working around the clock to distribute emergency aid to hard-to-reach communities in the wake of the earthquake in Nepal, prioritizing the most vulnerable, especially children.

TORONTO, April 29, 2015 – The deepening humanitarian crisis in Nepal could be made substantially worse by heavy rains and cold temperatures in areas affected by the massive earthquake that hit on Saturday. Plan Canada reports that emergency shelter is the most urgent need for earthquake survivors due to heavy rains in the forecast.

As temperatures plummet, heavy rainfall is expected to continue until the weekend in many of the worst affected areas. Plan International staff on the ground in Nepal are warning that severe weather will lead to increased health risks associated with exposure to rain and cold and the deterioration of the already dire health and sanitation facilities.

Reaching remote communities

The impact will be most severely felt in remote and isolated communities outside of Kathmandu. Exposure to the elements is a particular threat to already vulnerable groups like children and the elderly, while adverse weather will make damaged roads even more impassable and could lead to landslides and floods, further hampering relief efforts. Plan is working around the clock to access these hard-to-reach communities to distribute emergency aid, prioritizing the most vulnerable.

“Children are particularly vulnerable during emergencies like these, and making sure their core needs – including shelter, water and essential protection – are met, is among Plan’s most immediate priorities,” said Rosemary McCarney, President and CEO of Plan Canada.

“Plan’s experienced emergency response staff are working tirelessly to reach hardest-hit communities that are difficult to access due to damaged roads and challenging terrain. This situation is now compounded by bad weather, which will also lead to the spread of illness if people, especially children, remain exposed to the rain, dirt, and freezing cold.”

Shelter saves lives

Plan is distributing emergency shelter materials – such as waterproof tarpaulins, ropes, blankets and protective bed nets – to families in Kathmandu and Makawanpur and Sindhuli Districts. These emergency materials will protect families in the immediate term as Plan and other humanitarian agencies work on longer-term shelter solutions.

Plan is sourcing materials from local suppliers from areas of Nepal that were not as severely affected. This will enable Plan to quickly deliver materials to communities that need them, while also supporting local businesses affected by the economic impact of the earthquake.

Canadians are urged to donate and support life-saving relief efforts. With the federal government matching all donations, Canadians’ contributions will go even further.

Available for interviews:

In Nepal:

  • Mike Bruce, Asia Regional Communications Manager (Canadian)
  • Mattias Bryneson, Country Director, Plan International Nepal
  • Dr. Unni Krishnan, Head of Disaster Response and Preparedness, Plan International
  • Staff from Plan International Nepal who witnessed the earthquake firsthand

In Canada:

  • Rosemary McCarney, President and CEO, Plan Canada
  • Tanjina Mirza, Vice-President, International Programs, Plan Canada

For more information on Plan’s response to the earthquake in Nepal, please visit plancanada.ca

About Plan and the Because I am a Girl initiative

Founded in 1937, Plan is one of the world’s oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. Because I am a Girl is Plan’s global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls’ rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty. Visit plancanada.ca and becauseiamagirl.ca for more information.

About the Humanitarian Coalition

Plan Canada is a proud member of the Humanitarian Coalition, Canada’s only joint appeal mechanism for humanitarian assistance. It is comprised of CARE Canada, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam-Québec, Plan Canada and Save the Children Canada. With a combined presence in more than 120 countries, we bring together Canada's leading aid agencies to finance relief efforts in times of international humanitarian crises. We work together to eliminate unnecessary competition, reduce the duplication of fundraising costs, and inform the public on humanitarian needs. For more information, visit together.ca

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Dena Allen, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan Canada
T: 416.920.1654 x326 | C: 416.723.6340| dallen@plancanada.ca

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