The Catholic Agency for Justice, Peace and Development

Nepal earthquakes

Two major earthquakes hit Nepal in April and May 2015, taking more than 8,800 lives and destroying more than 600,000 homes. One year on from the disaster, and we are continuing to work with our partners in the country to help people rebuild their lives.

On 25 April 2015 a massive 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal, affecting 8 million people across the country. Another 7.3 earthquake struck on May 12. Caritas' strong presence, local partnerships and Church network enabled us to mobilise immediately following the first quake, with Caritas Nepal distributing tarpaulins, food and water to devastated families in Kathmandu’s evacuation sites.

We have a strong relationship with Caritas Nepal, having worked with them for over a decade on development programmes. In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, Caritas delivered emergency aid to more than 300,000 people, including food, shelter, water and sanitation relief items, and has now helped more than 1.2 million.

The Caritas confederation is investing more than €36.4 million ($59 million NZD) over three years to help Nepal’s earthquake survivors - with a major focus of the work being on providing good quality housing.

“The unity of the Caritas confederation meant we reacted quickly to the emergency and it has helped us achieve so many things over the past year."

"Now we are shaping a future alongside our Nepali brothers and sisters. We will build earthquake-resistant houses so people feel safe, we’re making sure children can go to school, families have water and we’re ensuring people sow their fields and reap their harvests, among many other things.”

Fr Silas Bogati, executive director of Caritas Nepal

Working in 15 affected districts, Caritas helped communities recover from the earthquake following the initial emergency by providing shelter to more than 110,000 families. Seeds and food were also provided to 34,000 households, almost 400 schools were assisted with repairs, cash grants were given to help people restart businesses, medical support was provided and help was given to prepare for a bitter winter.

We will ensure that the people most affected by the earthquake are able to rebuild their houses, restore access to safe water and sanitation facilities, rebuild their livelihoods and enhance their resilience to future disasters. One way we are working to accomplish this is by providing technical, financial and material support to local communities so they can build houses which will withstand further earthquakes.

As with every emergency Caritas responds to, communities are the driving force behind recovery efforts and Caritas is offering cash-for-work to 2,000 households, boosting farming activities for 4,600 households and training people to face disasters more effectively.

A huge thank you to everyone for their generous support - more than $420,000 has been raised to help people in Nepal rebuild their lives.

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Tutu ana te puehu - Stirring up the dust