The massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit Nepal earlier today has resulted in tremendous loss of life and has destroyed billions of dollars worth of property and infrastructure. Current estimates put the death toll at at least 1400 people. Countless others are either injured or unaccounted for. The death toll, like in many other earthquakes, is expected to rise. It would take weeks for a clearer picture to emerge.
Initial estimates put the cost of reconstruction in Nepal between $100 million and $10 billion. Nepal is among the poorest countries in the world. While most of the help has been coming in from Nepal's giant neighbor India, several other countries including the United States have pledged millions of dollars in aid to the victims. The U.S. has pledged an initial sum of $1 million. Several other charitable organizations are also doing their bit to help the Nepal earthquake victims. At this juncture, any form of help could be of great significance to the Nepali people.
In case you are among the ones who genuinely wish to contribute to the rebuilding of Nepal, there are ways to help. NBC News has listed a couple of ways in which you can contribute and help alleviate the hardship the poor people of the country are facing following the Nepal earthquake.
Staff from humanitarian agency World Vision was already on the ground in Nepal at the time of the earthquake. The organization is currently accepting donations, which they aim to use to provide food, water and shelter to the victims of the Nepal earthquake. In case you wish to donate to World Vision, you can do so by texting NEPAL to 777444 after which $10 would be deducted from your account. For those who wish to know more, please visit the World Vision website for more information. You can also call call 1-888-562-4453 (1-888-56-CHILD) and make a higher donation.
Like in the case of World Vision, the UNICEF too has a staff in Nepal. In case you wish to donate to help the children affected by the Nepal earthquake, you can send a text saying NEPAL to 864233 and donate $10 for the cause. In case you wish to donate more, you can visit the UNICEF website where there are options to donate larger amounts of money. The website has a form you can use to make a secure, tax-deductible donation to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.
Save the Children
Like UNICEF, the non-governmental organization Save The Children has also set up a fundraiser page to help the Nepal earthquake victims. Their website has an online form you can use to make generous donations.
The Red Cross, like most other organizations, has staff on the ground in Nepal and is accepting donations for helping the earthquake victims. Head to this link to make a donation.
CARE, which has years of experience working in Nepal, is also accepting donations via its website. Like other organizations listed above, you can use an online form to make your donation.
Lastly, we have GlobalGiving which has set up a Nepal Earthquake page to raise at least $ 1 million. So far, they have managed to raise $136,371 and they need your help to meet their goal. You can visit their website to make a donation.
The Nepal earthquake is the worst natural disaster to hit the country in nearly 100 years. Any help from you is appreciated and would go a long way in alleviating the pain and suffering of the earthquake victims.
[Photo by Omar Havana/Getty Images]