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27 April 2015 – Update from Oxfam press office
Oxfam today stepped up its relief effort to help an initial 350,000 people hit by the earthquake in Nepal, providing clean water, toilets and shelter to thousands of people.
The international agency is working in four open air sites in the Kathmandu Valley – delivering water and building toilets. Over the coming days we will work with other agencies to provide clean water to 16 open air sites set up by the Government of Nepal and to provide food and shelter, while also expanding operations outside Kathmandu.
Oxfam has so far raised more than half a million pounds from the UK public – a fantastic initial response – but more is needed.
More than 3.5 million people are estimated to have been affected by the earthquake which hit on Saturday. The death toll which currently stands at more than 3,700 is continuing to rise as reports filter in from harder to reach areas.
More than 5 tonnes of water and sanitation materials have been dispatched from Oxfam’s warehouse in Barcelona to help those hit by the crisis.
An Oxfam response team has been mobilised from India to assess the humanitarian situation in Gorkha, the hardest hit district. Oxfam is also assessing what needs to be done to help people in Lalitpur, Lumjung District and across the border in India in Sitamarhi and Darbanga.
Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB CEO says: “We are extremely grateful for timely generosity of the British public but the scale of this crisis means that more is needed.
“Nepal is one of the world’s poorest countries and does not have the infrastructure and resources to deal with a crisis of this magnitude, with millions without a safe shelter, clean water and sanitation.
“Our team in Nepal is working tremendously hard in extremely difficult circumstances to ensure that we help as many people as quickly as possible.”
Jane Cocking, Oxfam Humanitarian Director, said: “Hundreds of thousands of people have suddenly been left without adequate food, water, shelter and medical care. They are understandably desperate. We need to act fast.
“The damage to the infrastructure is huge and is making delivering aid quickly really challenging; we are now beginning to reach out outside the centre of the Kathmandu Valley and looking into the need of more remote areas.”