UPDATED: How to help earthquake victims in Nepal As the death toll rises in Nepal after a major earthquake on April 25, Catholic organizations are stepping up to help in difficult conditions.

Caritas Internationalis, the international aid and development agency of the Catholic Church and its member agencies in Nepal, have staff members currently in the capital of Kathmandu who are working with Caritas Nepal in the aftermath of the earthquake, according to the Caritas website. Caritas is providing shelter and food to survivors.

Catholic Relief Services has made an initial commitment of $725,000 toward relief efforts in Nepal and surrounding countries where the powerful earthquake caused widespread damage. Twenty CRS emergency specialists are on site or en route to hard-hit Kathmandu.

Water, sanitation, shelter, and food are priority needs.

The 7.8-magnitude earthquake hit before noon local time and was centered about 50 miles northwest of the capital city. Multiple aftershocks have been felt. An avalanche killed at least 18 people and injured dozens on Mount Everest. Over 5,000 casualties have been reported in India, Bangladesh, Chinese Tibet and Pakistan. Hundreds of buildings collapsed, including centuries-old temples and towers, trapping many people.

Pope Francis prayed for the victims after the traditional Easter recitation of the Regina Coeli Sunday, saying, “I pray for the victims, for the wounded, and for all those who suffer because of this calamity.” Listen via Vatican Radio here.

Donate to the Caritas Emergency Response Fund here.

Donate to Catholic Relief Services here.

Donate to Cross Catholic Outreach here.

Join us in prayer for the earthquake victims:

Loving God,
We pray for all those affected by the earthquake in Nepal as we offer the words of the psalmist,
“Be strong and take heart, all who hope in the Lord” (Ps 31:25).
May those who are paralyzed by fear…
Be strong and take heart
May those who have lost or are still searching for loved ones …
Be strong and take heart
May those who remain trapped under rubble …
Be strong and take heart
May those rescue workers who provide relief and recovery …
Be strong and take heart
May those who are moved with compassion to help …
Be strong and take heart
God, whose love knows no bounds,
fill all those who suffer with your comfort and peace.
We ask all this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.”

(from Catholic Relief Services)