Samaritan’s Purse Sends Disaster Response Team, Relief Supplies to Help Nepal Earthquake Victims
Teams with international Christian relief organization Samaritan’s Purse are on the ground in Kathmandu, Nepal, where a deadly earthquake devastated the capital city on April 25. Twenty-three team members from countries around the globe arrived on Tuesday and began working swiftly on response efforts already underway with the support of local partners. More personnel are en route and expected to arrive in the coming days.
More than 8 million people were affected by the earthquake, and tens of thousands are now homeless and in need of shelter, according to the United Nations. Recent reports indicate that the death toll has reached more than 5,000 people and is steadily rising as search and rescue crews continue to comb through the rubble.
“The people of Nepal have experienced an incredible tragedy and are in desperate need of clean water, shelter and medical care,” said Samaritan’s Purse President Franklin Graham. “We intend to do everything we can to help and support them both physically and emotionally in the days and weeks ahead.”
An airlift of 60 tons of relief supplies, including plastic sheeting for emergency shelter, blankets, tents, clean water, hygiene items and cooking kits, is being coordinated by the relief team and is expected to arrive in the country on Saturday. Additional emergency materials have been procured and are being arranged for delivery in Kathmandu via ground transportation trucks. These materials will help 15,000 households in need. Food distributions of rice, lentils and salt are also being coordinated for Friday and Saturday in two hard-hit districts northeast of Kathmandu.
Working with the Ministry of Health, a six-person medical team made up of doctors and nurses will be supporting mission hospitals that have partnered with Samaritan’s Purse and are in need of additional assistance and supplies. A mobile medical clinic is also being established to provide surgical and emergency medical care to those in need as hospitals are overcrowded and running out of capacity.
“There are a lot of hurting people here,” said Patrick Seger, the Samaritan’s Purse response team leader who has been assessing damage in local neighborhoods and identifying victims’ most vital needs. “Many people lost their homes and their incomes. They are trying to figure out what they are going to do.”
- Ken Isaacs, vice president of programs and government relations for Samaritan’s Purse, who oversees the development, training, deployment and work of the organization’s disaster response teams. Isaacs has more than 25 years of experience working in complex emergency response situations internationally.
- Patrick Seger, response team leader for Samaritan’s Purse, who is currently based in Kathmandu and leading relief efforts on the ground including food and non-food item distributions to those in need.
- Chris Toews, deputy director of international projects for Samaritan’s Purse, who is coordinating relief efforts from the ministry’s international headquarters in Boone.
Samaritan’s Purse responds to the physical and spiritual needs of individuals in crisis situations. Led by Franklin Graham, Samaritan’s Purse works in more than 100 countries to provide aid to victims of war, disease, disaster, poverty, famine and persecution.
For more information or to donate to Samaritan’s Purse Nepal relief efforts, visit www.samaritanspurse.org.