Three Months Later: Six Critical Earthquake-Recovery Needs in Nepal
Nearly three months have passed since two massive earthquakes struck Nepal, causing widespread death and destruction. More than 8 million people were affected by the disaster, according to the United Nations, with 2.8 million still in need of humanitarian assistance.
Typically, as recovery efforts following a disaster progress, aid organizations shift the focus of their relief work. Fidelity Charitable contacted nonprofit organizations working in Nepal to learn what type of support is most needed to continue to assist the Nepali people to a lasting recovery. Below, we highlight six critical areas of need they identified, based on current conditions on the ground.
The U.N. reports the earthquakes destroyed or damaged more than 800,000 homes, and many Nepalis are still living in tents. Providing immediate temporary shelter to help the population withstand monsoon season and reconstructing homes are priorities for aid organizations such as CARE. "CARE plans to distribute weather-resistant emergency shelter to 30,000 people in preparation for the monsoon rains," said Joan Garvey Lundgren, a CARE representative. Once immediate, short-term housing needs have been met, CARE will also provide Nepalis with construction-related training and technical assistance, so they can build back stronger.
Sanitation and public health
With many living in tent cities, people in Nepal are at much greater risk for disease as the monsoon rains begin. "The monsoon rains will bring suffering and the risk of disease to tens of thousands of people living outdoors in makeshift shelters and to those who lost access to clean water and sanitation facilities," said Nahuel Arenas of Oxfam America. "Oxfam is working with partners in Nepal to provide clean water, latrines, food, emergency shelter materials, and hygiene kits to people affected by the earthquake."
More than 1,200 health facilities were destroyed during the earthquake, including 84 percent of the public health facilities in Nepal’s hardest-hit regions. The restoration of health services and rebuilding of health infrastructure to serve the needs of Nepal’s population are other areas nonprofits identify as crucial to recovery. Organizations such as DirectRelief and Doctors Without Borders are focused on providing drugs and supplies or setting up temporary clinics in the hardest-hit areas to ensure that the sick and injured have immediate access to life-saving care. Some are also focusing on restoring health infrastructure. Diana Maguire of Americares said, "We’re working with partners to identify health facilities that can become operational with rapid repair and working with the government and other stakeholders to establish temporary facilities as an interim solution for communities with more severely damaged facilities."
"Disasters can often affect women and girls differently than men and boys," said Sangeeta Chowdhry of the Global Fund for Women. In Nepal, this has the potential to be exacerbated, as the country had one of the highest maternal death rates in the world before the earthquakes. Louisa Rahmadi of Friends of UNFPA told Fidelity Charitable, "An estimated 1.4 million women and girls of childbearing age have been affected. Of these, almost 93,000 are pregnant. Around 10,300 will give birth each month, needing safe delivery conditions." UNFPA is responding to the crisis; its mobile reproductive health camps around the country are reaching thousands with health care, counseling, and health information.
Lack of access to nutritious food following disasters such as earthquakes can have a long-term impact on children’s health. According to UNICEF, children account for more than 40 percent of Nepal’s population – and before the earthquakes, health and malnutrition were already longstanding problems. Currently 1.1 million children in 14 districts severely impacted by the earthquake are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. "There is still much to be done in the country … but there is real progress being made," said Matthew Bane, of UNICEF. Since the earthquake, UNICEF has been providing therapeutic foods and meal supplements to help children return to health.
Due to extensive building damage across the country, nearly 1 million children in Nepal have not been able to return to school. It is estimated that nearly 25,000 classrooms were destroyed and a further 10,000 were damaged. Save the Children reported, "We know that the longer children are out of school, the less likely they are to return and the greater the damage done to their futures." Save the Children is setting up temporary learning centers in some of Nepal’s hardest-hit areas to serve students while schools are being repaired and rebuilt.
Supporting Relief Efforts
For donors interested in supporting ongoing relief efforts, below are some organizations working in Nepal. These organizations, listed in our April 2015 guidance, were on the ground in Nepal before the earthquake and have a strong, established record of excellence in disaster relief services.
Please note that Doctors Without Borders cannot accept gifts restricted to Nepal relief efforts. However, gifts to its general fund do support its efforts in Nepal, as well as other areas where the organization operates.
|Organization||Address||Tax ID Number|
|88 Hamilton Avenue
Stamford, CT 06902
|P.O. Box 37243
Washington, DC 20013
P.O. Box 7039
Merrifield, VA 22116–9753
|27 South La Patera Lane
Goleta, CA 93117
|333 7th Ave., 2nd Floor
New York, NY 10001-5004
|370 Lexington Ave, Suite 702
New York, NY 10017
|222 Sutter Street, Suite 500
San Francisco, CA 94108
|12400 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 1500
Los Angeles, CA 90025
|45 S.W. Ankeny Street
Portland, OR 97204
|226 Causeway Street, 5th Floor
Boston, MA 02114
|501 Kings Highway East, Suite 400
Fairfield, CT 06825
|Revenue Processing Department
125 Maiden Lane, 11th Floor
New York, NY 10038
Please note that this does not represent a full list of organizations raising money for the relief efforts needed as a result of the Nepal earthquake. Fidelity Charitable does not endorse these organizations, and provides this list for reference purposes only. All grant recommendations are subject to review and approval by the Fidelity Charitable Trustees. Fidelity Charitable will communicate all grant designation recommendations for Nepal earthquake relief to grantees.