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- OFID aids earthquake victims in Nepal: Grant to be channeled through IFRC
OFID aids earthquake victims in Nepal: Grant to be channeled through IFRC
Vienna, Austria, April 28, 2015. The OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has approved a US$300,000 grant to help procure essential relief supplies for victims of the recent earthquake in Nepal and support emergency operations conducted by the Nepal Red Cross Society. The funds will be channelled through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).
On April 25, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck the country, with the epicentre located around 80km from the capital Kathmandu. Thousands have lost their lives, and numbers are expected to rise as new information becomes available. The disaster has also caused extensive damage to homes and basic infrastructure, as well as many historical landmarks such as the UNESCO World Heritage temples at Basantapur Durbar Square.
In response to the significant humanitarian needs following the earthquake, the IFRC has launched a 33.4 million Swiss franc emergency appeal to provide vital services including food, shelter and water and sanitation assistance for 75,000 vulnerable people. The appeal was launched following an initial Disaster Relief Emergency Fund allocation that was activated to ensure resources were immediately available.
The broader response to the earthquake is being led by the Nepalese government through its Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee. The Red Cross Red Crescent Movement, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations are working in coordination with local authorities. Sixteen camps have already been established in the Kathmandu Valley to provide temporary shelter for displaced individuals.
OFID’s grant is being extended as a gesture of solidarity with its partner country Nepal. The institution has worked closely with the Nepalese government since 1976 to help raise the country’s socio-economic development. This includes low-interest loans in the areas of agriculture, water supply and sanitation, transportation and energy, among others. Nepal was also the beneficiary of 35 regional and national grants to co-finance agricultural research, health and education initiatives, energy schemes and helping provide safe water and sanitation to needy communities.