Facebook users donate $10 million to Nepal earthquake survivors
TORONTO – Facebook users around the world have raised more than US$10 million in just over two days in support of Nepal earthquake relief efforts.
More than half a million people have contributed through the Nepal earthquake donation button – which many users will notice at the top of their newsfeed, both on Facebook’s desktop website and mobile apps – according to the social network.
The funds will support the International Medical Corps in their Nepal earthquake relief efforts. Facebook has also agreed to donate US$2 million to local recovery efforts.
Nepal was hit with a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on April 25. The death toll from the mammoth quake has climbed to 6,198, including those who died in an avalanche on Mount Everest, plus more than 60 elsewhere in the region.
The social network first tested it’s the crowdfunding feature in 2013 to help raise money for relief efforts after Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines. In November 2014, it unveiled the donation button for its users to donate to organizations working in West Africa fighting the Ebola outbreak.
Social media has played an important role in helping loved ones reconnect following the Nepal earthquake.
Google launched a “Person Finder” tool on its website after the earthquake, which allows loved ones to enter the names of missing family members into a database. Users with information about a missing person can also add to the database.
Whatsapp is also being widely used to coordinate recovery efforts, according to reports.
Facebook has also activated its Safety Check feature in Nepal, which allows family and loved ones to check in with those in the area affected by the earthquake to let them know they are safe.
According to a Facebook spokesperson, more than 150 million friends were notified through Safety Check and over seven million people “checked in” as safe.
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