Cointelegraph is calling for the digital currency community to come together and join our relief effort for victims of the recent Nepali earthquake.
In response to the powerful earthquake, and resulting humanitarian crisis in Nepal, Cointelegraph is launching a relief operation for those affected by working in cooperation with the Bitcoin Alliance India.
Using an on-the-ground network of procurement and distribution based in India, donated funds will be used to purchase emergency supplies of food, shelter, and tools, and transport them in convoy to affected communities in Nepal.
Further details about our campaign and a link to a public wallet suitable for donations will be published soon.
Speaking to Vishal Gupta, one of the co-founders at the Bitcoin Alliance India, we asked about the plans being drawn up to launch the assistance drive.
“The most effective way for us to help will be to provide people with the resources the need to survive. That can be achieved by providing relief material that addresses people's immediate needs such as: shelter, warmth, food, access to clean water, and medical items.”
With current figures suggesting over 4,000 dead, 7,100 injured, and over 940,000 children in need of humanitarian assistance the earthquake has hit the Himalayan nation incredibly hard.
Access to the remote communities closest to the earthquake's powerful focus remains difficult, although the first reports reaching the outside world from the epicenter suggests around 90% of buildings in the region have collapsed.
Talking about where the Bitcoin Alliance India will focus their work Gupta explained:
“I think the key is to help people who are on outskirts since most attention so far is being focused on popular areas like downtown Kathmandu, and the Everest basecamp and trek route, where tourists have often visited in the past. When you enter Nepal through India however you can get to some remote villages that you can't get to through Kathmandu, so we will use this access to help in those areas.”
There has already been a ground-swell of support from the digital currency community online. The Red Cross' Twitter page has received over 11 BTC in donations since the disaster struck, through a specific tag set up by ChangeTip. BitPay is also running a dedicated donations page for the American Red Cross encouraging donations to the humanitarian charity.
Update: Bitcoin community sends over 325 donations, totalling over 11 #bitcoin to @RedCross over Twitter Contributed now. #NepalEarthquake— Victoria van Eyk (@victoriavaneyk) April 27, 2015
Gupta commented on the place Bitcoin and digital currency supporters can take in this campaign to help those affected.
“Although Bitcoin has no absolute advantage – the cost of sending money is secondary to speed – in this case the community can stand up and be counted. Tell the world that help is currency-neutral. All you need is intent.”
The earthquake occurred at 11:58 am on Saturday 25 April, and is the worst experienced in the region for over 85 years. Measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale, the quake hit near to the capital near to the capital Kathmandu.