The 7.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Nepal Saturday caused untold damage to Kathmandu, the capital, and its citizens. Hundreds of thousands are sleeping outside or in makeshift shelters to avoid the ongoing threat of nearly 60 aftershocks, UNICEF said, and supplies of fuel water, food and electricity are running low. Hospitals suffered damage in the quake and are now flooded with patients these facilities are poorly equipped to treat.
Several international aid organizations have mobilized in the region, and are accepting donations to handle sorely needed relief efforts:
UNICEF -- The aid organization said about 1 million children need immediate humanitarian assistance in the aftermath of the disaster. Two flights are being organized to carry 120 tons of humanitarian goods to the region, including blankets, food, tents and hospital supplies.
International Medical Corps -- Emergency response teams have already started distributing water purification tablets kits and hygiene kits in Kathmandu, and will soon open mobile medical units, the New York Times reported.
Habitat for Humanity -- The home-building organization has worked in Nepal for 18 years and will provide emergency shelter for victims of the disaster.
Oxfam International -- The organization is providing clean water, food and sanitation supplies to those affected in the region with an emphasis on preventing waterborne illnesses, according to the group’s Twitter account.
Doctors Without Borders -- Eight teams of doctors including surgeons and support staff carrying sanitation supplies are traveling to Nepal to assist the country’s overwhelmed healthcare network.
Red Cross -- The Nepal Red Cross began supplying local hospitals with blood and began handing out 19,000 kits with clothing, kitchen sets and personal hygiene items as soon as the earthquake hit. In addition, the American Red Cross has pledged a $300,000 donation to relief efforts.
In addition, a group called Charity Navigator which reviews and ranks charities that operate around the world says several charities listed on the site plan to provide relief to Nepal. Those with a three or four-star rating by the organization include:
Charity Navigator offers tips for giving to relief efforts in a times of crisis, and recommends donating only to established charities and designating the contribution should go toward the Nepalese earthquake if you want to ensure every dollar is spent on immediate aid. The organization says to be wary of donating over the phone, by text, on social media or through email since scammers often target victims through these methods during crises.