November 16, 2018

Nepal Consulate in Los Angeles calls for ongoing post-quake support

The Nepalese Consulate in Los Angeles is facilitating donations and charitable gifts through its networks for humanitarian support for victims of the powerful earthquake that hit Nepal twice, killing more than 8,000 people, and destroying thousands of houses, heritage temples and buildings.

Amanda Daflos, deputy chief of General Consulate of Nepal in Los Angeles told the Jewish Journal, “We've been doing a number of things, including facilitating donations and the collection of supplies from Los Angeles communities and organizations who have reached out.”

“We have been invited to fundraising events to both speak and be a part of their events to provide information about Nepal and the effects of this disaster. We have also continued to direct people to organizations accepting donations,” Daflos said.

For those who live in Los Angeles and want to contribute donations to victims of the earthquake in Nepal, the consulate recommended Seeds Nepal, International Medical Corps, Mountain Fund, dZI Foundation for donations.

Daflos said that there is need in a variety of ways, including financial donations, supplies donations, volunteering to go to Nepal on emergency missions, and organizing fundraisers. There is also much room for creativity and all skills levels; there will be much demand for people who can help rebuild over the years to come with both skills and time, she added.

“There is currently a great need for medical supplies, tents and temporary shelters because thousands of homes and buildings have been destroyed and the country is about to enter the monsoon season,” said Daflos.

Many relief organizations, including Seeds Nepal, International Medical Corps, and international governments, including the United States have responded to the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25 and killed more than 8,000 in Nepal. The second quake of 7.3 hit the country on May12.

Daflos, however, emphasized that long-term support is still needed while emergency assistance is being carried out by aid organizations.

“Long-term needs will be significant and we are encouraging people to stay tuned in to the long term needs and volunteer their time or make financial donations over the long term. This is a disaster that will impact the country for decades to come,” Daflos said. 

She, however, said that many affected communities in Nepal have found aid delivery has been delayed due to logistical problems and slow reaction by the Nepalese government.

“The airport [in Nepal] itself is one of the hardest airports in the world for landing,” Daflos said.

Charity organizations got limited access to the disaster-affected regions as roads and paths were destroyed. Nepalese government's slow response to the victims of the earthquake and poor aviation capacities also contributed to delayed aid deliveries, Daflos said.

Geographical inconveniences also make logistics access difficult, as many parts of the country are mountainous regions. Local villagers mostly walk and hike to receive aid. But many paths were destroyed by landfall and haven't built, becoming difficult for everyone to reach out aid supplies.  

Charity groups and international governments should also focus on long term plans in order to rebuild live of affected people and rebuilding the country to normalcy.

Daflos, however, said that it will be a long journey back to where Nepal was before the quake, because of lost of legendary heritage, ancient temples and buildings. “Nepalis continue to focus on rebuilding, and our hope is they will gain the right levels of support from the international community to achieve this over the long term,” Daflos said. Located in the Himalayas and bordering with India and China, agriculture, hydropower and tourism trade are major contributors to the country's economy.