(UPDATED, Sunday, April 26, 10 a.m. MST):
- For extensive coverage of the updates from Buddhist leaders and monasteries in the area, see the Lion’s Roar article here.
- The death toll now stands at over 2400 as aftershocks hit throughout the country and will surely climb as ever more remote areas are surveyed.
- Continued offerings of prayers, meditations, transferences of merit, etc are still no doubt deeply welcomed.
- Some commenters have asked for a more “Buddhist” organization to donate to, for which I would recommend Matthieu Ricard’s Karuna Shechen. Another one recommended to me (thanks, Lynette!) is Citta.
- PRI and the Charity Navigator blog also list several recommended organizations to donate to, both include CARE, GlobalGiving, and Save the Children as listed below. An additional charity that has been recommended several times is Mercy Corps.
- In addition to the facebook alert system mentioned below, Google has set up a 2015 Nepal Earthquake Person Finder where you can search for or add information about people in the area.
- Three Americans have been confirmed dead, all were in the Mt Everest area according to the NYT article linked above.
Today a massive earthquake struck Nepal, killing at least 1300 people. Most of those affected were in the Kathmandu valley, though an avalanche near Mount Everest is reported to have killed several hikers, at least 12 have died in neighboring Tibet, and 34 more in India, including 3 in Bihar, home of Buddhism’s holiest city: Bodhgaya. Nepal is one of the poorest and least developed countries in the world, with many of the buildings in the capital city made of brick and mortar with minimal reinforcement. Outside the cities, many people live in simple mud thatch houses. The per capita GDP is less than $2500. Already relief agencies are scrambling to get needed supplies, including food, water, shelter, and medical aid, into the country.
Here are several organizations active in the area you can support:
- Save the Children: “Save the Children is in need of donations to support our disaster response efforts. Your support will help us protect vulnerable children and provide desperately needed relief to families. Donations will go to the Nepal Earthquake Children’s Relief Fund will support our disaster response to this emergency.” Donate Now
- Global Giving: “All donations to this fund will support disaster recovery and relief efforts in response to the region of Nepal impacted by this earthquake. Initially, the fund will help first responders meet survivors’ immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, this fund will transition to support longer-term recovery efforts run by local, vetted local organizations.” Donate Now(or for those in the US, you can Text GIVE NEPAL to 80088 to donate $10 to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund. Message and data rates may apply.)
- America Nepal Medical Foundation: “The American Nepal Medical Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization incorporated in the state of New York.” Their mission states, in part, “It is the firm belief of the foundation that as with the problems in any other field, the primary responsibility of resolving Nepal’s health problems lies with the Nepali people including medical professionals. There can be no substitute for their own commitment and action in Nepal. However, as a U.S. based nonprofit organization, the foundation is committed to supporting the Nepali people’s ongoing efforts to enhance their health status. ANMF will focus on improving the quality of medical care, medical education and medical research in Nepal.” Donate Now
- CARE Emergency: “CARE’s humanitarian workers on the ground in Nepal are currently assessing the situation and determining immediate needs. CARE has worked in Nepal since 1978, with programs focused on areas including food Security, HIV/AIDS, health, education, water and sanitation, and the empowerment of women and girls. CARE’s past responses to emergencies in Nepal have included response to massive landslides in Nepal’s Sindhupalchowk district in August 2014… CARE, which works in 90 countries around the world, places a special focus on women, children and other vulnerable populations, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. ” Donate Now
- Lastly, if you have friends or loved ones in the area, you can check in on them through a page set up on Facebook that allows people mark themselves or others as safe: https://www.facebook.com/safetycheck/nepalearthquake/
Check out 108 Zen Books for more opportunities to help out and if you know of other organizations that should be listed, please add them (and web links) in the comments.