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News : Emergencies

Partners provide emergency aid to Nepal quake survivors

Partners provide emergency aid to Nepal quake survivors – 1 May 2015

Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world at the best of times, but the earthquake last Saturday has brought this country to its knees. Over 7,000 people have been killed and nearly 14,000 people have been injured.

So much of this beautiful country has been destroyed – homes, crops, historic sites, roads and more. Many are camping outside but temperatures are low and those who are injured and suffering from shock are at risk of respiratory infections.

Tearfund partners in Nepal are providing urgent medical treatment, food and water to survivors. Dozens of volunteers from Rescue Network Nepal are helping communities in the badly affected districts of Makwanpur and Lalitpur, supplying plastic sheets for shelter and emergency food.

They have also been treating injuries, such as broken limbs and open wounds, and within the first few days 300 people had received medical care. The teams have also been helping rescue people from collapsed buildings and transporting the seriously injured to hospitals.

It’s estimated that a quarter of Nepal’s population – 8 million people – have been affected by the earthquake and the country’s Prime Minister fears the death toll could rise to 10,000 as information from remote areas comes in.

The earthquake is the worst to hit Nepal in living memory and it’s feared that nearly one million children have been severely affected by it. As well as damage in Nepal, the earthquake has claimed about 50 lives in Bihar state in neighbouring India.

Please support our Nepal Earthquake Appeal, you can donate here.

Click here to download a prayer power point for Nepal that can be used by churches, groups or individuals.

7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal

7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal – 25 Apr 2015

Tearfund’s Disaster Team are warning that Nepal’s largest earthquake for 80 years – which struck early on Saturday April 25th – ‘is likely to be our worst earthquake scenario: a “perfect-storm” disaster’.

The 7.8 magnitude quake, which was centred between the capital Kathmandu and Nepal’s second largest city Pokhara, has brought down many buildings. Tearfund is treating it as ‘cross-border’ disaster for its impact in India also. Over 7,000 people have already been confirmed dead with almost 14,000 injured. The country’s Prime Minister fears the death toll could rise to 10,000 as information from remote areas comes in.

Many bodies are still trapped under the rubble and rain and landslides are making it even more difficult to reach people in remote communities. The UN estimates that 8 million people have been affected by this earthquake.

Right now, Tearfund staff and partners are dealing with the most urgent needs, such as emergency shelters, food and safe water. The next few days are critical in the race to save lives.

Please pray for all those affected, that those who have been injured receive treatment quickly. Pray for speedy and effective rescue efforts to reach those who are trapped in destroyed buildings. And please pray for Tearfund’s Christian partners and staff as they decide how to best respond.

Click here to download a prayer power point for Nepal that can be used by churches, groups or individuals.

To donate to our Nepal Earthquake Appeal please click here.

How we can stop the spread of Ebola

How we can stop the spread of Ebola – 20 Nov 2014

The Ebola virus has claimed close to 5,000 lives and has devastated the lives of over half a million people in West Africa. It is showing no signs of letting up. Health services in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea are under huge pressure.

Even before the outbreak of Ebola Sierra Leone had one of the worst life expectancies in the world (57 years) and in 2010 had just 136 doctors for its 5.7 million population. Liberia has even less doctors and a similarly low life expectancy, as does Guinea.

These are some of the poorest countries in West Africa and they are now struggling with a deadly outbreak that is leaving countless children orphaned, crippling national economies and setting back any development gains by years.

As the death toll rises and the infection rates spiral, stopping the spread of the virus is paramount. Healthy sanitation practices and a basic community health care system can prevent infectious diseases like Ebola from spreading. Tearfund’s work with local church partners who are rooted in communities plays a vital role in building the resilience of communities and in protecting the most vulnerable from exposure to these diseases.

€45 could provide a hygiene kit to help keep one family safe.

Please help stop the spread of Ebola and other preventable diseases through our ongoing work in communities.

Click here to donate to this work.

Please pray and give what you can today.

SYRIA UPDATE: LONG-AWAITED PEACE TALKS ON 22 JANUARY

SYRIA UPDATE: LONG-AWAITED PEACE TALKS ON 22 JANUARY – 15 Jan 2014

Aged just 12, Mirah* already knows more about the horrors of war than many of us will in a lifetime.

Growing up in the city of Homs in western Syria, she attended school and played with her two brothers.

However, as the conflict escalated Mirah’s childhood changed beyond recognition. Her brothers were forced to flee the country after being arrested and tortured. Soon after this, her family home was bombed during a night of attacks on the city.

Mirah was separated from her parents and helped across the mountains into Lebanon by some of the other survivors. She was sure she had lost her mother and father forever.

Amazingly, sometime later Mirah was reunited with her parents in a camp in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Tearfund partner Heart for Lebanon is now providing them with monthly food and hygiene packages, along with supportive follow-up visits.

Mirah’s family is very grateful for this support, which is helping them survive the harsh winter. But it isn’t a long-term solution.

With the conflict in Syria still raging, families like Mirah’s are hoping that the upcoming Geneva II peace talks will signal the start of a positive change.

  • Give thanks that the peace talks are still on track for 22 January. Pray that all parties will attend and ask God to help those present to find a workable solution to the conflict.
  • Pray for those in Syria affected by the worsening fighting as parties try to gain ground ahead of the talks.
  • Pray for refugees and displaced people like Mirah as they face the additional hardships of a cold winter.

More church and individual prayer resources for Syria Peace Talks.

*Name has been changed to protect identity.

Photo above: Lebanon camp, photographer: Eleanor Bentall / Tearfund

Giving children of the Philippines the routine of going to school

Giving children of the Philippines the routine of going to school – 6 Dec 2013

Girly Malitante is a primary school teacher in Marabut. ‘My school is damaged from the typhoon, but we need shelter for the children to have classes. The chairs and books, pencils and pens and blackboards are all damaged.’

Giving children the routine of going to school helps recreate a sense of normality for them. While adults begin the work of rebuilding their homes and their lives, Tearfund partners are working to create safe spaces for children.

There’s a lot to do, as Girly points out. ‘We received some food and clothing from the Department of Education, and the government has said they will repair our school, but not until January. There are computers floating in the floods, and we have to boil water to drink. But we have a lot of firewood!’ she says, pointing to the rubble.

As the shock of Typhoon Haiyan wears off, and evidence of trauma is settling in, our partners are training community volunteers from local churches in Northern Samar on trauma recovery for children.

Layo Mateo, a fisherman in Basey is concerned for the wellbeing of his children. ‘Sometimes my children still get scared. Now, even the level one typhoon warnings scare us.’

It might take time to rebuild schools. Nevertheless our partners are creating places for children where they can play, make things, and express their emotions with on-site care providers. Through our work in Samar, we’re making sure that children suffering acute trauma can be treated by Filipino psychologists to receive the level of care that they need.

Tearfund partners are working for long-term recovery in the Philippines.

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PHILIPPINES - BRINGING SHELTER TO THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE OF DULAG

PHILIPPINES - BRINGING SHELTER TO THE FORGOTTEN PEOPLE OF DULAG – 27 Nov 2013

It rains every day in Dulag, but there’s little shelter for the 9,000 families who live there. Just 30km south of Tacloban, almost all of the homes in the area were destroyed as they stood directly in the path of Typhoon Haiyan.

Shelter is the top priority in Dulag. Families whose homes have been destroyed urgently need protection from the elements.
Almost overlooked by the tremendous need in Tacloban, there was little support for those in nearby Dulag.

But Tearfund partners have quickly identified the need to bring help to the region. The team are already on the ground giving out 5,000 shelter kits to families in the area.

Guido Krauss is a shelter advisor. ‘We’ve talked to a lot of families, local authorities, and engineers, and everybody agrees that the main needs at the moment are food and shelter.’

As well as shelter kits, the team are giving people equipment to help them clear away debris from their ruined homes. In the long-term, our partners will train families to rebuild their homes in a way that makes them more resilient to disasters like cyclones.

Working with local officials is helping the team to target their response, Guido explains: ‘We don’t need a separate relief system. The destruction is so huge that it will be very difficult for the government and the Filipino people to recover from this solely on their own capacity. The best way we can help is to be supportive and to collaborate with communities.’

Tearfund partners are working for long-term recovery in the Philippines.

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