Plan International in place to respond to Nepal earthquake
Needs of children among immediate priorities for response
TORONTO, April 25, 2015 /CNW/ - As the world watches the incredible devastation and destruction caused by the massive earthquake in Nepal today, Plan International is on the ground and ready to respond to the needs of those affected. Plan Canada has launched a fundraising appeal to Canadians to help support the immediate needs of earthquake survivors.
Plan has an extensive presence in Nepal, with field offices in areas severely impacted by the earthquake, including Kathmandu, Makwanpur and Baglung.
"Children are particularly vulnerable in natural disasters, and making sure that their core needs, including shelter, water, health care, and protection, will be among our immediate priorities," said Plan International Nepal's Country Director Mattias Bryneson, from Nepal.
"Children may be separated from their families, they may be injured, their homes may be damaged or destroyed, and they may be deeply traumatized. As we get to work assessing the needs of communities and delivering relief, meeting these needs will be among our top priorities."
Damage assessment and casualty numbers are still being tallied from the massive 7.9-magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday morning and also caused extensive damage and casualties in India and Bangladesh. "We expect that the impact of this will be massive," said Bryneson.
Many members of staff from Plan International Nepal witnessed the earthquake and are available for media interviews by phone.
"It's dark now in Kathmandu, and power is out in most areas. It seems as though the entire city is outside, sleeping on the streets," said Bryneson.
Power outages are frequent in the affected areas. Outside of the capital, cities and towns in affected areas are also devastated. Landslides have cut off several areas, while aftershocks remain a substantial risk.
Plan International is conducting a rapid needs assessment and working with government, other non-governmental organizations, and UN coordinating bodies. Relief teams are preparing to deploy into affected areas.
Plan has been working in Nepal since 1978, helping poor children to access their rights to health, education, economic security and protection. Since children are most vulnerable in disaster situations, Plan International's efforts will be focused on children.
Available for interviews and comment on the current humanitarian crisis following the earthquake in Nepal:
- Mattias Bryneson, Country Director, Plan International Nepal
- Tanjina Mirza, Vice-President, International Programs, Plan Canada
For more information on Plan's response to the earthquake in Nepal, please visit plancanada.ca
About Plan and the Because I am a Girl initiative
Founded in 1937, Plan is one of the world's oldest and largest international development agencies, working in partnership with millions of people around the world to end global poverty. Not for profit, independent and inclusive of all faiths and cultures, Plan has only one agenda: to improve the lives of children. Because I am a Girl is Plan's global initiative to end gender inequality, promote girls' rights and lift millions of girls – and everyone around them – out of poverty. Visit plancanada.ca and becauseiamagirl.ca for more information.
SOURCE Plan Canada
For further information: Media contacts: Dena Allen, Senior Media and Public Relations Manager, Plan Canada T: 416.920.1654 x326 | C: 416.723.6340| firstname.lastname@example.org