Nearly a month after a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, millions are still in need of humanitarian assistance. An estimated eight million people – nearly 30 per cent of the population – have been affected.
A second 7.3 magnitude earthquake occurred last week, triggering new landslides and reducing centuries-old buildings into rubble.
The two earthquakes are the most deadly natural disasters in Nepal’s history, with more than 8,583 people confirmed dead. Aftershocks continue to shake the country, causing further damage to already fragile buildings.
Aid workers are rushing to get supplies into the remote mountainous areas before the monsoon season arrives. The United Nations has only raised 14 per cent of the funds needed for emergency relief efforts. They warn of the possibility of more deaths if aid does not arrive in time.
The synod Melbourne office is hosting a book sale on Thursday May 21 to raise money for communities in Nepal devastated by the earthquakes. Many staff members are avid readers and it only took a moment to come up with the idea of a book sale.
“We wanted to reach out and do our bit to contribute to Nepal,” Catherine Robertson, UnitingCare Victoria and Tasmania’s Events Manager, said.
“We have extremely generous colleagues who are always ready to respond to those in need and we are hopeful of a good response for our Nepal fundraiser.”
Hundreds of books have already been donated. The books cover a broad range of genres, including classic literature, bestsellers, memoirs, non-fiction and children’s books.
All proceeds will go to UnitingWorld, the international development agency of the National Assembly of the Uniting Church in Australia. UnitingWorld is a member of ACT Alliance, which has agencies working on the ground in Nepal right now. ACT Alliance has distributed water, food, medication, shelter and education kits to more than 40,000 affected people.
Members of the public are welcome to attend the book sale, which will run from 10am-3pm at 130 Little Collins Street, Melbourne.
Ms Robertson suggests coming in the morning to avoid missing out on the more popular titles.
“We recommend purchasers arrive early,” she said.
“Melbourne people love to read, and we expect the books to go quickly.”