On 25 April, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the valley of Kathmandu in Nepal. Nepal has a population of 28 million inhabitants and is one of the tenth poorest countries in the world.
Although the extent of the damage and injuries is not known, the situation looks difficult: building and homes have been destroyed and the number of injured and those awaiting rescue is mounting. The latest reports suggest 5,489 fatalities and 7,900 injured.. The shock waves were felt as far away as Bangladesh, Pakistan, Tibet and India where 59 people were killed. Secondary earthquakes are feared.
Faced with this catastrophic situation, the Société Générale group is joining international relief efforts. We are appealing to Societe Generale employees in France to show their generosity and make a donation to help the victims of this natural catastrophe:
Employees' donations will be matched by the Group.
Both Société Generale's partner charities are present on the ground and with the Group have already intervened in similar situations; both have targeted emergency plans.
CARE is prioritising the areas around Kathmandu and Pokhara. There is very little information about these areas and CARE teams are currently evaluating the situation on the ground. According to information, over 80% of homes have been either damaged or destroyed in certain isolated villages. CARE's response is to provide support to these devastated areas. The aim of CARE is to provide emergency support to the 100,000 people affected by the earthquake.
The main activities on the ground are:
As early as Sunday morning, MSF sent 8 teams to Nepal to provide emergency assistance to victims of the earthquake and to assess needs on the ground. Thousands of emergency kits have been distributed MSF is planning to provide surgical assistance to treat injuries common in this type of catastrophe. Equipment is also being flown out (an entire plane has been chartered and will take off from Bordeaux in the next few hours with 33 tons of medical equipment and an inflatable hospital on board).
MSF is also working with the Ministry of Health to identify the geographical zones where the need is the greatest and most urgent.
Laurent Sury, Head of Emergency Programmes at Médecins Sans Frontières, said:
"Several teams composed of surgeons, doctors, logistics experts and coordinators have left or are getting ready to leave from India, Brussels, Japan and Paris. In the next few days, we hope to have between 80 and 100 people (with basic equipment) on the ground depending on access conditions. MSF also intends to send out an inflatable hospital to treat the injured located outside Kathmandu. The hospital has two operating theatres, a recovery room and can accommodate between 60 to 80 beds."