More than 4,000 people are believed dead in the earthquake that hit Nepal on Saturday. The scale of the devastation is likely to have an economic impact on the country, one of the poorest in the world.
IHS Global Insight estimates the cost of reconstruction at more than $5 billion – or about a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product. Tourism accounts for 8 percent of the country’s economy, and is likely to be adversely affected following the quake.
“A coordinated international disaster relief and long-term reconstruction program will need to be funded by bilateral assistance from donor nations and development financing agencies under the coordinated management of multilateral institutions such as the United Nations,” Rajiv Biswas, chief economist, Asia-Pacific at IHS wrote in the research note.
The U.S. Agency for International Development said today it had deployed a disaster-response team to the area and announced $10 million in emergency assistance. The Defense Department sent an aircraft to deliver a 70-strong team and support.
The Associated Press adds that 26 Army Green Beret soldiers, who were in Nepal at the time of the quake, are staying to help with search and relief efforts, along with the 11-person crew of a C-130 cargo plane that brought them to Nepal
The U.N. said it was releasing $15 million from its emergency-response funds to help. Other U.N. agencies said they were sending relief supplies. The Asian Development Bank announced $3 million in immediate relief and $200 million for rehabilitation efforts.
Nepal’s neighbors China, India and Pakistan are all playing a leading role in the relief efforts. Beijing deployed its China International Search and Rescue Team to Nepal on Saturday with 62 personnel, sniffer dogs and emergency relief equipment, according to CCTV America, the U.S. arm of China’s national broadcaster. China also offered about $3.3 million in humanitarian aid, the official Xinhua news agency reported.
India dispatched its National Disaster Response Force with 450 people and rescue dogs and has sent its Air Force to aid in the rescue and recovery efforts. It has also sent food and equipment. Pakistan is sending four planes with emergency equipment along with doctors, medical staff and sniffer dogs.
Medical and rescue teams from other countries are also in Nepal helping with the relief effort.
Several organizations are collecting donations from the public. You can find a list on the USAID website.