By Britt Lake | Senior Director of Programs, GlobalGiving
Photo by Save the Children
It has been three months since the 7.8M earthquake that killed more than 8,000 people in Nepal. There have been hundreds of aftershocks since then, and more than 600,000 homes were destroyed. Your donation is already helping to provide relief to millions people still in need of humanitarian assistance, as well as helping countless others to begin to rebuild after the earthquake.
In the last two months, an additional 28 organizations have received relief or recovery funds from GlobalGiving donors. A description of these organizations and how you’re supporting their efforts are below:
Ama Foundation is supporting the community where their home for orphaned children is located by providing food, power, medical supplies, and educational materials.
American Himalayan Foundation is repairing buildings and replacing supplies and damaged equipment, including among mobile field hospitals, across the region.
Build Change is impacting reconstruction throughout Nepal by making disaster-resistant construction designs and training available to the government of Nepal and local and international NGOs working to rebuild after the earthquake.
Fuel Relief Funddistributed more than 13,400 gallons of gasoline and diesel to fuel vehicles for the UN, Doctors Without Borders, and other international NGOs; to power generators for hospitals and survivor camps; to fuel motorcycles for local Nepali citizens, and more.
Global Vision International Charitable Trustis providing emergency family packs including food, sanitary pads, toothbrushes, soap, flashlights, candles, a lighter, cloth, mosquito nets, medical kits, blankets, and tarpaulin shelters.
Himalayan HealthCare will provide one month's food for 2,400 households in Tipling, Lapa, and Sherthung, and rebuild five schools with 10-12 classrooms.
Internewsis initiating open air studios and an SMS rumor tracker to provide critical information to local communities throughout Nepal.
IsraAid is rebuilding shelters, providing seed packs for farmers, providing education kits and medical services, as well as providing psychosocial support to survivors.
Journey Home Foundation is distributing rice, sugar, tea, first aid, soap, tents, mattresses and blankets in Gorkha district.
Karuna Trustis targeting post-earthquake long-term health needs including mental health, antenatal issues, identification and referrals for infectious diseases, sanitation, health access for low caste groups, and sanitation.
Keystone Accountability is conducting surveys on perceptions related to services, people’s sense of agency, outcomes, and the quality of relations between aid providers and survivors so that relief and recovery work can be more responsive to the needs to community members affected by the earthquake.
MAP Internationalis shipping necessary medicine and medical supplies to organizations working on the ground throughout the country.
Mercy Corpsis providing non-food relief items, unconditional cash transfers, emergency shelter, and water and sanitation interventions in ten districts in Nepal.
PHASE Nepal distributed tents, food and other essential supplies and is providing health care in Gorkha and Sindhupalchok.
Room to Read will construct four-room school block, establish child-friendly libraries, and provide teacher training and support for two schools in the Palpa District.
The Santi School Projectwill build/reconstruct three secondary schools damaged in the earthquake in Lalitpur District and to conduct a feasibility study on the possibility of a 'lab school' in the future.
Sarvodaya provided food, shelter, water and sanitation supplies in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake.
SASANE provided clean drinking water, food, and clothing for paralegals that are part of their program and who were affected by the earthquake in Nuwakot, Dhading, Rasuwa, Kavre, Sindhupalchok, Bhaktapur, Patan and Kathmandu.
Save the Children provided immediate emergency relief and are continuing with long-term relief with a focus on children throughout many of the earthquake-affected districts
GlobalGiving staff will be on the ground next month to check on the progress of these grants and bring you stories from those your donation is impacting. We’d love to hear from you what questions you’d like us to ask while we’re there. And, as always, thank you for your generosity.
“The coming monsoon makes the relief efforts – shelter, clean water and sanitation – even more urgent. Rising temperatures, contaminated water, poor sanitation and heavy rains pose a serious risk of landslides, and water and mosquito-borne illnesses.” - Nepal Youth Foundation project report
GlobalGiving partners, with support from your donations to the Nepal Earthquake Relief Fund, are working urgently to provide relief and rebuild communities as heavy rains threaten their efforts. The photos were provided by IsraAID on their efforts to build shelters for families that will withstand monsoon season.
All 795 houses in the village of Sunkhani were destroyed by the earthquakes. As monsoon season begins, village residents fear that the plastic tents that serve as their temporary shelters will not provide adequate protection from severe weather. Binaytara Foundation is working to help the village rebuild the homes and is providing stable, metal roofs that can withstand the heavy rain and hail. International Disaster Volunteers (IDV) is distributing Shelter Repair Kits to residents in Arukharka village, so families can complete their own shelters in anticipation of the monsoon.
The Nepal Trust is working in Sindalpulchowk, which sustained the highest number of earthquake fatalities of any district in the country. The Trust is providing tents, food, clean water and filters to ensure people are fed and kept warm during the rainy season and is also working to secure adequate, sturdy shelters in the advent of the storms.
MADRE provided dry clothing and shelter to a mother and her newborn baby after the pair was rescued from a tent buffeted by heavy rains and hail; the organization is distributing relief kits with blankets, diapers, and basic hygiene supplies to pregnant women and new mothers affected by the quakes. MADRE’s women-run partner organizations are also supporting remote indigenous communities, many of whom have no other sources of humanitarian relief.
Nepal Youth Foundation (NYF) is ensuring that hospitals are supplied with medical equipment and that discharged patients in Kathmandu and Pokhara are able to recuperate in “recovery centers”. NYF is especially concerned with women and children, distributing food, clean water, and toys, and operating day-care facilities to serve families that have lost their homes.
“[The monsoon season will] heap tragedy on top of tragedy for Nepal,” Laura Blank, spokesperson for World Vision, told The Wall Street Journal. She added that landslides are a particular concern as “the ground can give way and it’s not unusual for entire villages to be buried” and that the weather “would make it difficult for helicopters to fly, rubble from landslides can bury roads or hiking paths, and anyone walking on foot would find it nearly impossible to travel” to remote areas in order to provide resources and relief.
Your generosity and support for our partners committed to the long-term recovery in Nepal is making sure that survivors weather the storm and that all the progress made so far is not lost. Thank you.
By Jacqueline Lee and the GlobalGiving Team | Senior Program Associate
Accountability Lab distributing relief materials
When it comes to delivering aid in the aftermath of a disaster, connection is key. After the earthquake, many displaced Nepalis found themselves unable to connect with organizations to access essential needs, like food, water, and medical aid. We were fortunate enough to connect with Narayan Adhikari, from our partner, Accountability Lab, who’s working to make those vital links for survivors in Nepal.
Through Accountability Lab’s Mobile Citizen Helpdesk project, Narayan and Accountability Lab have been able to visit over 65 communities and directly solve over 100 problems for Nepalis seeking aid. Last month, we conducted this interview with Narayan over email, who shared with us the situation on the ground in Nepal as he sees it.
GlobalGiving (GG): Tell us about the situation where you are right now.
Narayan Adhikari (NA): I am in Nepal now, working with 32 Citizen Helpdesk volunteers. Despite huge tragedy, the helpdesk volunteers have been working around the clock to visit places where people have sheltered, hospitalized and displaced. I am also working with other Citizen Helpdesk partners, the government of Nepal, and the donor community to consolidate everyone’s efforts to provide assistance to the people on the ground.
GG: What is the most urgent need facing survivors?
NA: Not enough tents for shelter, rescue operation are predominantly limited to urban areas and their peripheries, while many families from remote district have been left out from receiving the support they need. Food supplies are very limited in many remote villages. The aid agencies are facing huge challenges to coordinate with one another and conduct needs assessment for proper and fair distribution of relief.
GG: What kinds of assistance are you providing to survivors?
NA: We are visiting the affected areas with the help of our volunteers, collecting information from direct interaction with victims, listening to their problems, helping them obtain appropriate information, and connecting them with relief organizations and the government. We are also working with the government to assess their data received from citizens through the mobile hotline 1234, where more than 25,000 voice calls have been received directly from citizens.
GG: What’s the biggest challenge you’re facing in delivering aid?
NA: One of the biggest challenges is getting the right information about the disaster. The media reports and government data are frequently not available. Other key challenges in the aid delivery are: lack of coordination among relief organization and government; unequal and unfair distribution of relief packages; difficulty reaching the most affected areas in remote districts. We are working to help alleviate these challenges as much as possible. Our biggest challenge is quickly raising the funds needed to roll this project out as far as possible.
GG: What do you believe the long-term recovery needs will be?
NA: More mobile helpdesks are needed to assess needs and gather feedback from the local people. The information should be shared with government and aid agencies, and these stakeholders should manage relief efforts with strong and efficient routes to reach affected households and individuals.
The current mechanism of budget allocation and disbursement is a very slow, lengthy, highly corrupt, and overly political process, and it is not going to solve the problem at all as long as we are not able to create shortcuts for the current disbursement mechanism (i.e. from center to household without any intermediately).
Individual households need to be provided with enough support with technical skills, proper materials and labor to sustainably rebuild their homes. There has to be citizen oversight to monitor relief and make sure it is utilized in effective ways.
GG: How long do you expect to be working on relief and recovery efforts?
NA: At least 2 years. Even as we transition back to our other accountability programs, earthquake relief and the accountability of the aid system will continue to be a key issue and component that they cover.
GG: How does the situation compare to other disasters you’ve responded to in the past?
NA: We have not experienced anything like this before in Nepal. The other key country that Accountability Lab works in is Liberia—which just faced the deadly Ebola crisis last year. That it was a very different sort of crisis, and our response there focused more on creative awareness campaigns. However, in both situations we had to mobilize quickly, find ways for citizens to get involved in improving their community, and try to build trust between citizens and their government. Both have affected all aspects of the country and will have long-term repercussions.
GG: From your perspective, are relief efforts well-coordinated between the various NGOs and government responders?
NA: Not really, and that is part of the reason why we’ve set up the Mobile Citizen Helpdesks. With better coordination between NGOs and government, the people would can get better quality support, sooner.
GG: What about the situation currently in Nepal do you think most people may be unaware of?
NA: People are traumatized and are full of fear. Many people, especially from affected communities, do not have any idea what to do and have not been able to get reliable information and direct channels to raise their voices.
GG: What are the advantages that a local NGO has over an international NGO? vice versa?
NA: Local NGOs are more connected with the locals and understand the situation better than INGOs. Thus they have more human capital and contextual understanding, while INGOs typically have more financial resources.
GG: What about Nepal specifically makes responding to this earthquake a unique challenge?
NA: Nepal hasn’t had local elections in 18 years so there is very little accountability in the local government, which has an important role to play in distributing aid. There is systemic corruption and a highly inefficient bureaucracy in the government that has delayed Constitution making for years, and is in many responding similarly to the disaster. Furthermore, given Nepal’s poor economy, a huge number of Nepalis work abroad, thus leaving a gap in an important workforce. On the other hand, Nepal has a very active youth and civil society population that have risen to the challenge in many ways.
As Narayan explained, the relief effort in Nepal is far from over. Our partners on the ground are continuing to work tirelessly to provide support and services to Nepalis in need. With your continued kindness and generosity, we can ensure a strong and lasting recovery.
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When a disaster strikes, recovery efforts led by people who live and work in affected communities are often overlooked and underfunded. GlobalGiving is changing this reality. Since 2004, we've been shifting decision-making power to crises-affected communities through trust-based grantmaking and support.
We make it easy, quick, and safe to support people on the ground who understand needs in their communities better than anyone else.
They were there long before the news cameras arrived, and they’ll be there long after the cameras leave. They know how to make their communities more resilient to future disasters, and they’re already hard at work. GlobalGiving puts donations and grants directly into their hands. Because the status quo—which gives the vast majority of funding to a few large organizations—doesn’t make sense.