Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Another Nepal Update in Light of Recent Events (5.12.15)

Note:  Here is part of an email report sent out today by Pastor Poh Boon Sing in Malaysia regarding another earthquake in Nepal and an update on relief efforts by brethren there:

Dear Brethren & Friends,


Another earthquake hit Nepal today, this time of magnitude 7.3, with epicentre near Mount Everest, east of Kathmandu. Pastor Samuel Rai reports that the people are badly shocked by it. He and his people are loading relief material to be sent to Dhading, the epicentre of the previous earthquake two weeks ago that killed more than 8,000 people. To date we have sent USD35,233 to him for earthquake relief. 

As with many issues, there are conflicting views on how best to help the situation. The establishment-minded people advocate funneling funds to the Nepali government, an example of which is seen in the article at this link:

We hold to a different view, believing that a plurality of approaches should be employed, including governments helping the Nepali government, while NGOs take the initiative to do what they are able, ideally working in tandem with government agencies and with the involvement of the locals. There are political, social and cultural nuances that are not well-understood by foreigners. For example, when the tsunami struck parts of Indonesia in 26 December 2004, funds from overseas could only trickle down to the needy so slowly through the government bureaucracy of the time. The victims of the same tsunami in Sri Lanka were largely the minority Tamils who lived in the east coast where the disaster was most severe. The Tamil separatists were fighting against the government forces at that time such that those affected by the tsunami felt they were not given sufficient attention by their government. A similar problem was encountered in Myanmar when cyclone Nargis hit the largely Christian Karen area in the south on 2 May 2008. The majority people in Myanmar are Buddhist Burmese, and Myanmar is similarly plagued with the problem of fighting with separatists forces, including from a portion of the Karens.

We will continue to send funds to our brethren in Nepal, and to pray for them. They are the best people to extend aid to those in need....

Thank you for fellowship in the gospel.

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