Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Emergency Relief for Floods, Earthquake

One of the things we do as humanitarian missionaries is to respond to natural disasters with relief efforts. When responding to an emergency, we don’t just give money away for relief items.  Rather, emergency supplies are purchased as locally as possible by a reputable source, and distributed personally by LDS Charities and/or their partners.  It is our responsibility to make sure the emergency items get directly into the hands of the actual people in need.

In August, massive flooding and widespread landslides swept through areas of Nepal, wiping out villages, covering farmland and destroying lives.  Over 250 people were killed with over 40,000 people displaced or affected. The devastation was great. We have two humanitarian couples in Nepal who wrote up the paperwork for the relief project, and then Elder Coffey worked to get all the necessary approvals through as quickly as possible.  

Devastation to village from Nepal flooding
On September 6, our two humanitarian couples flew an hour long flight from Kathmandu to Nepalgung, which is in southwestern Nepal, to assist our NGO partner and the Red Cross with distributing relief supplies to flood victims.  Then they rode a 2 hour jeep ride from Nepalgung to the distribution site. Two large trucks hauled the supplies as far as they could and then the next day 3 tractors with trailers hauled the supplies to the distribution site.

The couples provided non-food relief supplies for 650 families in the Bardiya District of Nepal. Each family received cooking pots, long stirring spoons, plates, mugs, buckets, wash tub, blanket, sleeping mats and   fabrics for clothes.

The people were very happy to receive things to help them try to regain their lives. It was a very rewarding experience.

Distribution of supplies with trucks and tractors

Also in August, a 6.1 earthquake struck Yunnan, China, killing at least 617 people and destroying or damaging over 42,000 homes.  At least 340,000 people were displaced.  Several of our NGO partners in both Beijing and Shanghai requested our assistance with emergency relief from two of our three humanitarian couples in China. Donated items included blankets, raincoats, water purification units, emergency lamps, first aid kits, food and school supplies. Here are some of the photos from one of those deliveries.

Landslides made relief efforts more complicated

Bottled water was distributed, along with
water purification units for sustained relief

Distributing supplies

Grateful recipients await their supplies

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