.- Catholic Relief Services has announced that it has already committed an initial $50,000 for the immediate needs of the survivors of Saturdayâs 7.6-magnitude earthquake in South Asia. This amount is expected to increase significantly as additional assessments take place. The quakeâs epicenter was in Pakistan, which was hardest hit. This morning, Pakistani officials reported that there are as many as 40,000 dead and 2.5 million displaced.
CRS was among the first agencies on the ground within hours of the earthquake and has already identified immediate needs for survivors, including shelter, medicine, food, clean water, blankets and water cans.
"Continuous tremors and multiple aftershocks are forcing traumatized victims to live outside without shelter," said Jack Norman, CRS country representative for Pakistan, in a press release. "In addition, the onset of the monsoon season has made critical roads inaccessible and the start of operations arduous. We fear that landslides may soon follow."
CRS has been in Pakistan for more than 50 years. It has a vast network of partnerships in the region, including with Islamic Relief, which allows it to respond in a timely and efficient manner.
It is also working to co-ordinate efforts on the ground with Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 162 Catholic relief, development and social service organizations around the world.
While the most devastated areas are in Pakistan, reports indicate hundreds of deaths in India. CRS is working with its local partner, Caritas India, and sending a three-person assessment team to Srinigar.
To donate funds, go to www.crs.org or call 1-800-736-3467.