People of Edinburgh give £1m to help Nepal

Villagers living near the epicentre of the April 25 earthquake unload vital supplies. Picture: AP
Villagers living near the epicentre of the April 25 earthquake unload vital supplies. Picture: AP
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More than a million pounds has already been donated by people in the Capital to a UK-wide charity appeal following Nepal’s devastating earthquake – making Edinburgh the second most generous city in Britain.

A tally of donations to the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) aid appeal for the quake-stricken Himalayan nation shows that Edinburgh has given more than anywhere else other than London.

The total of £1,127,500 raised in the Capital so far means that more than £2 has been given for every man, woman and child in the city – more per head than in Glasgow, Manchester, Leeds and Birmingham.

The appeal, which raised 
£19 million within 24 hours, has brought in enough money to pay for 199,000 water purification tablets, 19,166 tarpaulins, blankets and mattresses, 34,350 hygiene kits, 85 latrines, and enough food for 49,300 people – with more aid on the way.

Charities have also distributed nutritional supplements to help 80 pregnant and breast-feeding mothers.

Ali MacLeod, director of fundraising for Mercy Corps, said she was “overwhelmed” by the response to the call for support.

She said: “Mercy Corps Scotland, Edinburgh’s international charity, launched our Nepal response in the immediate hours after the devastating earthquake that hit the country of Nepal on Saturday 25 April.

“We urgently asked the Edinburgh public to respond and we were, as ever, overwhelmed with the generosity of the Edinburgh community – whether on the phone, towards our bucket collectors or at the Edinburgh vigil with the Lord Provost. The people of Edinburgh have again demonstrated their compassion for those in crisis.”

Members of the Nepalese community and residents touched by the scenes of devastation held their own fund-raising efforts.

The Nepal Scotland Association organised a vigil and held bucket collections on Princes Street. The manager of the Cloisters pub, Gordon Hamilton, asked local breweries to donate casks of beer so he could pull pints in aid of Nepal.

Neil Mathers, head of Save the Children and chair of the DEC appeal in Scotland, said: “The people of Edinburgh and Glasgow, and Scotland as a whole, have been incredibly generous and I want to thank each and every person who has donated so far.

“Thanks to them our teams have been able to reach a large number of people in just a few days, but there is much to do.

“This money will help us to scale up efforts to reach more of the estimated eight million people affected by the devastating earthquake, which struck west of the capital Katmandu on Saturday 25 April.”

To make a donation to the DEC Nepal Earthquake Appeal visit: www.dec.org.uk, call the 24-hour hotline on 0370 60 60 900, or donate over the counter at any high street bank or post office, or send a cheque.

You can also donate £5 by texting the word SUPPORT to 70000.

paris.gourtsoyannis@edinburghnews.com