Providing Shelter and Food Assistance to Nepal's Earthquake Survivors

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
May 1, 2015
Nepali Man Carries USAID/OFDA Heavy-Duty Plastic Sheeting, Which Arrived in Kathmandu this Week for Distribution to Earthquake-Affected Households [U.S. Embassy Kathmandu, Nepal Photo]

A powerful 7.8 magnitude earthquake shook Nepal on April 25, killing thousands of people and flattening sections of Kathmandu's historic center. The United Nations estimates 8 million people -- nearly a third of Nepal’s population -- have been affected by the earthquake.

In the aftermath of the earthquake, USAID quickly deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) to the region and provided $10 million in emergency assistance. USAID also activated Urban Search and Rescue Teams to accompany disaster experts.

This week, the UN launched a $415 million flash funding appeal to provide millions of earthquake survivors with health and WASH assistance, critical food security interventions, and shelter support.

It is estimated that 1.4 million people will require immediate food assistance over the course of the next three months. In support of UN's efforts, USAID’s Office of Food for Peace contributed $2.5 million to the World Food Program, who will buy and distribute 1,391 metric tons of rice to feed 120,000 people for a month. The earthquake is expected to have significant implications for food security and agricultural-based livelihoods, particularly in rural communities. The earthquake has disrupted preparations for the next planting season, which begins in June and an estimated 70 percent of Nepal’s population relies on agricultural production as their primary livelihoods.

The earthquake also destroyed more than 130,000 houses and damaged more than 85,850 residences. To address critical shelter needs, 700 rolls of USAID/OFDA heavy-duty plastic sheeting arrived in Kathmandu this week, which the International Organization for Migration (IOM) plans to distribute to approximately 3,500 earthquake-affected households along with additional IOM supplies, including rope, wire, and basic hand tools.

USAID-Nepal, this week, also committed $1 million to Save the Children to address immediate shelter and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs in urban and rural communities in the most-affected districts in Nepal. A longtime USAID partner, Save the Children has implemented WASH, nutrition, and food security activities across the country, including in some of the areas hardest-hit by the recent earthquake.

Countries across the world are coming together to help the people of Nepal. The United Nations, international organizations, governments and NGOs are coordinating closely with the Government of Nepal to work quickly and save lives.

In the coming days, weeks and months, the United States will stand by the people of Nepal and the region during this time of need to help individuals, families, and hard-hit communities.

Click here to learn about ways you can support the organizations responding to the earthquake.

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