The Nepal home ministry has reported that the death toll from the April 25 earthquake has risen to 7,365 on May 4. 14,355 people are reportedly injured from the earthquake and its aftershock and 10,744 government buildings have been destroyed. Hundreds are still searching for missing loved ones and there are now heightened fears that women and children are in danger of becoming prey to traffickers who may take advantage of the tragedy, reports India Today.
The immigration department and Airport Police are on high alert, profiling passengers to be sure that they are “genuine,” and not human traffickers. Nepal has been a hub for human trafficking for a long time, but the 7.8 earthquake creates a gateway for traffickers to take advantage of the situation. According to Gulf News India, past studies have shown that natural disasters in which residents lose greatly are more susceptible to falling prey to trafficking gangs, especially women and children. Families are targeted who have lost everything in the wake of the natural disaster and are now struggling to survive.
All the officials can do is make sure that passengers’ documents are official and respond right away when there are complaints. They have an intricate web of participants from officials to taxi drivers who are assisting police officials and are on watch.
How to help:
There are many organizations on the scene in relief and support efforts for residents of Nepal. Nepal has a long journey to recovery ahead and areas hit by such disasters need attention and assistance, not just today or this week but for months to come and possibly longer. As the people of Nepal organize and begin rebuilding after the catastrophe, they will need, along with medical assistance, funds and supplies as they work to rebuild. Below follows some of those organizations and a little about them.
Upaya Zen Center (New Mexico)
Upaya is a Buddhist center that works in Nepal regularly over the past 20 years, bringing medical care and assistance to remote areas of the country by way of their Nomads Clinic program. They build strong ties with the remote and rural areas that they visit. Upaya works in alliance with other organizations that they have thoroughly researched, as well. For more information about Upaya, visit their website. To donate, visit Upaya’s Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund website. Upaya will make reports back to those who have donated so that they can be in the know about the work that is being done.
AmeriCares, CARE, Catholic Relief Services, Direct Relief, Global Giving, International Relief Teams, Operation USA, Save the Children, Seva Foundation, World Help and others
Public Radio International published a list last month, of trustworthy organizations that are supplying relief work to devastated areas of Nepal. “After disasters, the best way to help is generally to donate money to effective and efficient charities that have an established presence on the ground,” they wrote. If a charity should ever be in question, PRI lists Charity Navigator as a good resource for evaluating nonprofits and their work. Along with the organizations featured above, PRI suggests UNICEF, Oxfam, Handicap International and American Jewish World Service, as organizations worth mentioning. For more information about each charity, visit PRI’s article which lists them all and describes them.