In recent days, over 1,000 people have died across South Asia with a staggering 41 million people affected. People have lost their homes, crops and livelihoods. Flooding has seen more than a third of Bangladesh submerged. Health facilities, roads, schools and markets are under water. More rain is forecast and the situation could yet get worse.
None of this would have been possible without the commitment and dedication of more than 300 volunteers and partners who have gone the extra mile to support people who need it the most, but there's still lots more be done. As this New Year gets underway and recovery and reconstruction continue, we must not lose sight of Nepal's most vulnerable children - girls and children with disabilities - who desperately need an education to escape the cycle of poverty.
Women continue to be among the most affected by the worst natural disaster to hit Nepal in 81 years. Women have lost their homes, families and livelihoods, and have received little support from the Nepali government. Intersecting inequalities meant that women faced additional barriers and were less able to access the emergency relief provided. Single women in particular are still struggling to access the support they need, fighting barriers and social stigma in order to gain equal rights.
We are all taken aback by the striking images projected in the wake of devastating natural disasters. In recent months the
There's another side to the great gogglebox in the corner of our living rooms. TV - in fact British TV specifically - has been the driving force behind humanitarian work that has helped millions of the world's most desperate people. I'm the chair of trustees of the Disasters Emergency Committee, which represents the UK's leading international aid agencies when fundraising for humanitarian emergencies. The DEC has been phenomenally successful, in 67 appeals it has raised more than £1.5billion, including £352million for the Tsunami, £97million for the Philippines Typhoon and, more recently £83 million for the Nepal Earthquake appeal.
I have been left saddened by the scale of destruction and the impact the damage has had on children in particular, but also pleased to see the good progress the aid effort is making only three months on from the earthquake.
I came to Kathmandu 10 days ago, as part of All Hands Volunteers Disaster Assessment Response Team (DART). We were responding to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that happened on April 25. Only 17 days later, as our team were out in the field clearing rubble in the village of Bungamati, a second earthquake shook the city and surrounding districts...
Looking Beyond the Earthquake: How Will Nepal Survive This Natural Disaster With One of the Weakest Health Systems in the World?
During my visit, our plane had to circle in the sky above Kathmandu for hours whilst we struggled to land due to the morning fog and we experienced hours of standstill traffic as we tried to navigate our way through the city slums.
It took two very anxious hours to make contact with my family. It was my 24 year old nephew who rang to inform me that my immediate family were all safe. As I was speaking to him on the phone there was an aftershock, which was very strong. I could hear in his voice how incredibly scared and afraid he was and I tried to reassure him from thousands of miles away.
The Sendai Declaration may not be what people hoped for. It was, however, an agreement made by UN member states which, despite cynicism, means something. I believe the Sendai Declaration created a foundation and a meaningful if incomplete agreement is more of a foundation than a rejected solution.