Nepal’s extreme landscape, so appealing to adventurers, is also an extreme challenge to relief efforts in the aftermath of Saturday’s devastating earthquake.
Areas perched on towering peaks and tucked into deep valleys are difficult to reach in even the best conditions — now roads are wrecked or washed out from floods and landslides. Many of the affected areas can only be reached by helicopter.
Our experienced emergency responders are well-prepared to navigate these conditions and are already reaching survivors in the most remote areas. The team of more than 100 mostly Nepalese staff members is one of the largest on the ground, with local connections and experts in water, sanitation, logistics and distributions. Follow daily updates from the field ▸
Below meet the Nepal team leaders who are focused on addressing survivors’ immediate needs and planning for recovery despite the many challenges in the wake of this disaster.
Nepal earthquake response team
Michael Bowers, Senior Director of Strategic Response & Global Emergencies
Michael leads Mercy Corps' team of global first responders. He is bolstering the Nepal team to quickly ramp up relief efforts. With over a decade of experience directing programs in war-torn regions including the Balkans, Afghanistan and Pakistan, he's most recently focused on immediate response work after disasters in Haiti and the Philippines, as well as helping millions of Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.
Sanjay Karki, Nepal Country Director
Sanjay is from Nepal and is working closely with Michael Bowers as the emergency response team leader. He has been overseeing Mercy Corps programs to increase food security, support women and youth, and prepare communities for natural disasters since 2010. His expertise in rural development and economic recovery will be especially important to help communities rebuild farming and livestock livelihoods wiped out by the earthquake.
Jeff Shannon, Director of Programs in Nepal
In the wake of the earthquake, Jeff is focused on how the team will quickly scale up our emergency response, identifying new locations to target and relief activities to undertake. He has been working on our Nepal team since 2012, after years spent implementing Mercy Corps programs in challenging environments like Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Ethiopia.
Manzoor Hussain, Global Water and Sanitation Specialist
Manzoor has more than 20 years of experience getting clean water to people in some of the toughest circumstances. He will use his civil engineering expertise to address water and sanitation needs, especially in remote areas. He has responded to floods, cholera outbreaks and other crises in the Middle East and Southeast Asia and was most recently working to improve conditions for Syrian refugees.
Jasmine Avgerakis, Reporting Officer in South Sudan
Jasmine is from Portland, Oregon, also home to Mercy Corps global headquarters, but now works in a border area of war-torn South Sudan. She had arrived in Nepal for vacation the night before the earthquake hit and immediately jumped in to help the Nepal team. She is now conducting rapid needs assessments in the remote areas outside Kathmandu.
Mervyn Lee, Senior Global Advisor
Mervyn speaks Nepali and will use his extensive local knowledge to support emergency communication efforts and partnerships. He served as the Chief Executive of Mercy Corps’ European headquarters after working in government service and diplomacy, spending both professional and person time in Nepal for 30 years.
Christy Delafield, Senior Communications Officer
Christy has been deployed to conflict zones including Nigeria and South Sudan to raise awareness about humanitarian conditions. She will report on the situation on the ground in Nepal and meet with survivors to hear their stories and document their needs.
How you can help
- Your gift to our Humanitarian Response Fund will help people in Nepal recover and support our response to crises in Syria, South Sudan, Ukraine and around the world. Donate now ▸
- Our team is able to quickly respond to natural disasters because of supporters like you — and the more people who come together to help, the more people we can reach. Fundraise for survivors ▸