The UK government’s humanitarian response now stands at £22.8 million (3.5 billion rupees) to help the people of Nepal following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April, making the UK the world’s largest donor to the country. In addition the British people have raised £36 million (5.1 billion rupees), reflecting the special 200 year relationship between the UK and Nepal.
Justine Greening, UK Secretary of State for International Development, said “The UK is standing by Nepal and its people in their hour of need by ensuring lifesaving supplies continue moving around the country and by providing charities on the ground with fast-tracked funding. But even more has to be done to make sure these vital supplies keep reaching those who need them”.
We agree with the principles of working through Government systems, transparency and accountability in relief and development. The UK is providing over £300m of support to Nepal from 2011-2015 million through its development programme, majority of which is delivered through partnership with the Government of Nepal. The UK continues to work closely with the Government of Nepal and other key partners including the United Nations as it responds to recent Earthquake.
The £22.8 million (3.5 billion rupees) humanitarian response includes:
- £5.3 million (0.8 billion rupees) for UN agencies in Nepal to coordinate the international relief effort and provide clean water and shelter for affected families;
- £3 million (0.4 billion rupees) released under the Rapid Response Facility (RRF) to six charities and NGOs already working on the ground: Save the Children, Mercy Corps Scotland, Care International UK, ActionAid, Oxfam and Handicap International;
- £2 million (0.3 billion rupees) for the British Red Cross;
- £5 million (0.7 billion rupees) to match public donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee’s appeal which will support NGOs on the ground;
- A £5 million (0.7 billion rupees) package to provide a further team of 30 trauma medics, logistical support and equipment to ease congestion at Kathmandu Airport and humanitarian experts in water, health and sanitation. DFID has also deployed a team of more than 60 UK International Search and Rescue responders and specialist rescue dogs;
- £2.5 (0.38 billion rupees) million for the UN Humanitarian Air Service to enable organisations already on the ground to deliver aid to isolated areas. On top of this, DFID is deploying three Royal Air Force (RAF) Chinook helicopters.
Within 24 hours of the earthquake our prepositioned items, such as tarpaulin shelters, in Kathmandu meant the UK aid supplies were among the first to reach communities hit by the earthquake. With shelter being a key priority in Nepal, as millions have been left with no roof over their head, over 13,000 UK funded shelter kits have already been distributed, with nearly 20,000 more shelter to be delivered to Nepal within the next two weeks.
British firefighters and medics reopened the hospital of Nepal Medical College (NMC) and Teaching Hospital in Kathmandu. The 700 bed hospital was damaged in the earthquake and could only look after 80 patients. Thanks to UK government efforts, 10 operating theatres and up to 400 beds at the NMC are now available for patients and offering free medical care. Over the next two to three weeks another 300 to 400 beds will be made available. Head of DFID Nepal, Gail Marzetti, reported from the hospital site saying “DFID has just signed a MoU along with the Director of the NMC to ensure all earthquake victims are treated free of cost. The hospital is fully operational, treating more than usual number of patients and doing a really great job”.
Three British chinook helicopters will be made operational in Kathmandu as part of the UK relief effort. These advanced helicopters are able to carry vital relief supplies to isolated high altitude areas across the country which are currently challenging to access. Lack of helicopter is a major constraint in the mountain areas. The helicopters will help the government of Nepal and other partners to reach out to the most affected districts and people where we are fighting time to get vital supplies of shelter, food, seeds, sanitation and water purification material ahead of the monsoon.