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Nepal earthquake: Article 25 launches urgent rebuild appeal

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UK-based architecture charity Article 25 has launched an urgent appeal for donations to rebuild schools in Nepal following the recent earthquake which killed more than 3,700 

The humanitarian aid project comes just two days after the country was struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake – its largest in 80 years.

Buildings within a 100 mile radius of the epicentre – 21 miles east-southeast of Lamjung – were flattened, killing more than 3,500 people and injuring 6,500.

An avalanche on Mount Everest killed a further 17 people and historic UNESCO-protected buildings in the capital Kathmandu have also been destroyed.

Article 25 is seeking donations to fund a ‘long term programme of resilient reconstruction’ of schools in the disaster-struck region.

The charity said it will first complete an ‘extensive needs assessment’ of the immediate situation before partnering with local organisations to ensure ‘Nepal builds back better to prevent future disasters’.

Article 25 has previously delivered earthquake relief in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Haiti. The charity was already working on programme of earthquake resistant schools in Nepal before the disaster struck.

Managing director Robin Cross said: ‘The devastating impact of the earthquake in Nepal is a sad reminder of the crucial importance of safe and resilient buildings. And it is a reminder that it is not earthquakes that kill people, but buildings that kill people.’

He continued: ‘When the buildings fail, the social the social and economic life they support also fail. We can’t prevent earthquakes, but we can mitigate their impact. Well-constructed buildings can make the difference between many thousands of deaths and zero deaths.’

Cross added: ‘Once the immediate emergency response effort has been implemented, the developed economies must support a long term programme of reconstruction to provide the people of Nepal with buildings that are sturdy and reduce the impact of future climate events.

‘Article 25 can mobilise design and construction skills from the UK and put them to work where they will make the greatest difference.’

ADP chair Roger FitzGerald said: ‘As well as fund-raising, support should be channelled through organisations that are best-placed to provide aid in the most efficient and effective way.  For example, we have been strong supporters of Article 25, which is adept at mobilising design and construction skills and applying them to where they can make the greatest difference.’

How to donate

Donations can also be made by text: Text ‘NEPA25’ followed by your donation, to 70070. (e.g. NEPA25 £10)

RIBA response to Nepal earthquake

Following the recent earthquake in Nepal, the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) has the following advice for members who would like to support the aid efforts:

  • Donations

In the first instance, money is the most important resource.  It needs to be channelled through organisations with wide experience of disaster relief, already present in the country, familiar with the territory and well-connected with local organisations and agencies. In the UK, the main channel for making donations is the Disasters Emergency Committee, representing the 13 major relief agencies. Alternatively, Article 25 has launched its own urgent appeal for donations.

  • Technical Assistance

RIBA is working with the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to help identify Nepalese nationals or others with relevant local or regional experience to provide technical expertise.

The IFRC has already deployed approximately 100 people to support the Nepal Red Cross in search and rescue efforts, emergency health, water and sanitation, relief, shelter and interagency coordination as well as support services such as telecoms and logistics.

Given the operational constraints in the country, most agencies are wary of overloading country teams at this stage. However, the IFRC anticipates there will be a need for additional technical expertise in due course.

RIBA members or practices with the necessary expertise and experience to help – particularly those who would be fully funded or self-resourced – are encouraged to register their interest with RIBA Head of International, Marcus Deeley, marcus.deeley@riba.org






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