World Vision’s Michael Messenger on the ground in Nepal, describes “incredible devastation”
KATHMANDU, Nepal (April 28, 2015) – World Vision Canada’s incoming president, Michael Messenger, who arrived in the Nepalese capital last night, says he is shocked and saddened by the extent of the destruction caused by the earthquake, which measured 7.8 on the Richter scale and has left more than 4,400 people dead and thousands of people injured.
Nepal has declared a state of national emergency and is appealing to the international community to support relief efforts aimed at helping survivors of the earthquake. World Vision is among a number of global aid agencies working in conjunction with the Government of Nepal to coordinate the response to this disaster and to ensure that humanitarian supplies and services are provided as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The government of Canada announced Monday that it will match donations given to registered Canadian charities active in the relief efforts in Nepal.
“In the few short hours that I’ve been on the ground, I’ve seen incredible devastation caused by the initial earthquake and dozens of aftershocks. In Bhaktapur, nearly everything is destroyed and what's left is at risk of collapsing from the pouring rain. Families are huddling under tarps, worried about the weight of water on any buildings that are still standing. The whole area is filled with search and rescue teams, yet there is little hope of survivors.” – Michael Messenger, incoming president of World Vision Canada.
“Because of the damage to homes throughout Kathmandu, many people are living in tents or other improvised shelters in the streets because they are unable or too frightened to go back to their homes. There are concerns now that food and other essential supplies may start to run low in the coming days, which could make an already bad situation even worse.” – Michael Messenger, incoming president of World Vision Canada.
“I’m grateful the Government of Canada moved quickly to announce its matching program, and I am confident Canadians will give generously to help children and their families in Nepal in their hour of need.” – Michael Messenger, incoming president of World Vision Canada.
World Vision’s Nepal earthquake response :
• World Vision is targeting an initial 100,000 people (20,000 families) in the worst-affected areas of Bhaktapur, Gorkha, Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Lamjung. The scale and scope of the agency’s response may increase pending assessments of the situation.
• World Vision’s priority is to address the immediate needs of children, including the establishment of Child-Friendly Spaces to help them deal with the trauma and distress caused by the earthquake.
• World Vision first started its development initiatives in Nepal in 1982. The agency operates 73 projects managed by 205 staff, and supports 27,000 sponsored children.
What Canadians can do:
Canadians wishing to support World Vision’s emergency response in Nepal can text “AID” to 45678 to donate $20, or donate by online at worldvision.ca, or by calling 1-866-595-5550.
Note to Media:
Michael Messenger is available for interviews with Canadian media via telephone, Skype or Facetime from Nepal.
To arrange an interview, please contact:
416-419-1321 or 905-565-6200 ext. 3973
Bob Neufeld (Emergency Communications Manager)
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our News Centre at worldvision.ca.