IIED issues statement after devastating Nepal earthquake

IIED's thoughts and hopes are with all those affected by the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal and neighbouring areas of Bangladesh, India and Tibet on 25 April, with a state of emergency being declared in Nepal.
Press release, 26 April 2015

We are currently doing all we can to track down and confirm the safety of our friends, colleagues, partner organisations and their staff, although connectivity is limited, with mobile and communications infrastructure badly damaged in Nepal.  

IIED works with civil society and government partners in Nepal on climate change, natural resource governance and urban development. A number of our partners from Nepal are with us at the 9th International Conference on Community-Based Adaptation (CBA9) in Nairobi.

Last year's conference (CBA8) was hosted by Nepal and this year's Kenya-hosted conference opened with a minute's silence to pray for all those affected by the earthquake.

The international community is responding with aid pledges and on-the-ground assistance. The UK-based Disasters Emergency Committee is pulling together the UK NGO aid response in a news feed, which details the organisations currently working to support the people of Nepal.

How to help and find people

There are several ways you can aid local requests for help:

  • This Facebook group (requires log-in) is sharing requests for help/information and local relief efforts, who in turn are trying to link into the international aid response
  • Google has created a person finder, which is also available via SMS
  • The International Red Cross has a missing persons register
  • There is also an open source project called Ushahidi, which allows users to crowd source crisis information, to be sent via mobile. It has coordinated its various volunteer networks and made them accessible here
  • Facebook has a safety check function (requires log-in), encouraging people to share a safe status, and
  • It is believed that WiFi is becoming accessible again. Instant messaging service Viber posted the following message on their Facebook page (requires log-in) on 26 April: "In response to the earthquake in Nepal we have switched off Viber Out billing so Nepalese users can call any destination for free. We hope this will prove helpful to Nepalese users during this difficult time."

Stay informed

Here are some useful resources to help you stay informed:

  • The Guardian is providing useful real-time analysis of events as they unfold – see day one and day two
  • You can also follow updates on Twitter using #NepalEarthquake and the UN United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs is communicating the critical response needs via its @UNOCHA Twitter account
  • Associated Press journalists Gregory Katz and Seth Borenstein have provided a valuable summary of the situation and how the international community is responding, available here, and
  • The UK Government's Foreign Office has provided travel advice, which we share for those who may be in affected areas and need to access this information, available here.

Notes to editors

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) is an independent, non-profit research institute. Set up in 1971 and based in London, IIED provides expertise and leadership in researching and achieving sustainable development (see: www.iied.org).

For more information or to request an interview, contact Simon Cullen: 
+44 7503 643332 or [email protected]