In the aftermath of the Nepal mega quake, countries from across the globe are pitching in different ways to alleviate the impact of the disaster-hit Nepal, with India leading the charge.
Indian relief efforts, called ‘Operation Maitri’ or friendship, include ten teams numbering 450 personnel from the country’s National Disaster Response Force, 13 planeloads of food, blankets and other aid, UAVs for mapping stricken areas, a mobile hospital and several more teams of disaster management personnel, army medical and engineering teams. Aid is also pouring in from non-government organizations such as the Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Managing Committee (DSGMC),that has sent 25,000 food packets via the Indian Air Force, on Monday.
With hundreds of foreign nationals feared dead or missing, including Google X executive Dan Fredinburg, a massive international relief effort involving governments, charity groups and private volunteers is underway.
U.N. spokeswoman Orla Fagan, who is on her way to Nepal, said “There are 14 international medical teams on the way and either 14 or 15 international search-and-rescue teams on the way.” She emphasised that preventing the spread of disease is one of the most important tasks facing aid workers there.
Red Cross, Red Crescent and AmeriCare are some of the more prominent international aid organizations that have despatched their teams to Nepal.
With the Kathmandu airstrip closed for civilian air traffic, military aircraft are the only way to get in. To facilitate this, a U.S. military plane had departed from the Dover Air Force Base in Delaware on April 26, with 70 personnel on board, including a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) disaster assistance response team, a Virginia-based search and rescue team and 45 tons of cargo, reported fox news. The US has pledged an initial $1 million towards relief efforts, as well.
Rescue teams from Europe are en route as well. France sent 11 rescuers on Sunday; Britain announced that an advance team of eight had been sent and that a $7.6 million aid package would be available under a rapid response plan; Italy has deployed a team of experts from its Civil Protection Department as well as it foreign crisis team; and the Swiss Foreign Ministry said a team of experts including a doctor, a building surveyor and water quality technician had left for Nepal on Sunday.
Poland is sending a rescue team to Nepal of 81 firefighters, together with heavy equipment and several dogs, as well several medics.
Other countries sending support include the United Arab Emirates and Germany.
Nepal’s neighbours, China and Pakistan, are pitching in as well. A 62-member Chinese search-and-rescue team was dispatched to Nepal on Sunday, along with six sniffer dogs and medical equipment. Chinese agencies have also pledged $3.2 million in tents, blankets, generators and other materials to be sent by charter flights to Nepal. While Pakistan is preparing to send four C-130 aircraft, carrying relief material and a 30-bed temporary hospital comprising army doctors, surgeons and specialists including an urban search and rescue team with ground-penetrating radars, concrete cutters and sniffer dogs.
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