Kirsty flies to Nepal to help with CBM's relief and reconstruction

Posted on: Thursday, 4th June, 2015

"CBM UK Chief Executive Kirsty Smith will travel to Nepal today to help with relief and reconstruction work, focussing on people with disabilities. Kirsty will join CBM's team of emergency response specialists and Nepalese staff, who have been working in the country since the devastating earthquake on April 25th.

"Like many people, I've been so moved by seeing the terrible suffering in Nepal, a country I've visited many times"", says Kirsty. ""We've heard harrowing stories from our partners on the ground, particularly of the effects on people with disabilities. An estimated 1 in 7 people in Nepal live with disabilities - that's four million people across the country - and thousands more will have been injured and are now at risk of disability."

"In all disasters, disabled people can find it harder to reach a place of safety, and they're often at the back of the queue for emergency help such as food, shelter or medical treatment. Our CBM team and partners in Nepal have been working tirelessly since the earthquake and I'm glad to have the opportunity to join them as part of CBM's response."

In the first month since the disaster, CBM has helped over 3000 people with disabilities or injuries, running medical outreach camps in the most affected areas to treat injured people and ensuring that emergency relief reaches people with disabilities.

CBM is still working to deliver relief to the hardest-hit areas, but the charity also has a long-term plan to help the country recover, with a particular focus on people with disabilities.

"Reconstruction in Nepal will take years", explains Kirsty, "but CBM was there before the earthquake and we'll be there for the long-term, helping to rebuild lives and communities. Our objective is to support people with disabilities and to make sure their needs are met and their voices are heard with regards to the future of Nepal. We've also seen in our work in other disaster-hit countries, like Haiti and the Philippines, that including people with disabilities in rebuilding their communities can benefit everyone".

"We'd like to thank all those who have so readily supported our emergency response to the Nepal earthquake. It will be a privilege to report back to our supporters, whose generosity has made this disaster relief possible. I am sure it will be an eye-opener, both in terms of scale and the international aid response, but also a reminder of the resilience of local communities working together."

Kirsty Smith has been Chief Executive of CBM UK since 2012; previously she was Chief Executive of All We Can (formerly Methodist Relief Development Fund) and has many years of experience in working with local partners in developing countries, including Nepal."


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