On April 25, communities in Nepal, India, and Bangladesh suffered a devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake. So far, reports reveal that more than 4,000 people have died and thousands more are injured or missing. Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) President Bill Schulz and Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) President Rev. Peter Morales have issued this joint statement in response to this tragedy:
“The devastating earthquake in Nepal has resulted in a growing number of victims and widespread destruction of property, including some of the world's greatest heritage sites. This tragic disaster, in a country where 25% of the population already lives at or below the national poverty line, reminds us of life's fragility and our human obligation to respond with generosity and compassion to those who suffer.
With Nepal’s record of poor infrastructure, relief and recovery efforts are certain to face significant challenges . That is one reason that UUSC and the UUA are launching a special joint appeal for Nepal relief work. As is our practice with international disaster relief, UUSC will take the lead in distributing funds where they can do the most good, directing support toward people who are left out of mainstream relief efforts.
People and communities whose rights will be most at risk in the wake of the disaster will include people living in remote areas; women and children; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people; people who do not have recognized citizenship; indigenous people; Dalits; elderly people; and people living with disabilities and HIV/AIDS. UUSC and the UUA are already establishing on-the-ground partnerships and projects to support these communities.
We are keeping the people of Nepal and the affected region in our hearts and prayers. Please be generous with your support.”