On Saturday, April 25 a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, just northwest of the capital of Kathmandu. It was the worst quake to strike the region in more than 80 years, killing thousands of people and injuring thousands more. Since then, an outpouring of support from over 44,000 donors, including KEEN employees, and our fans, have supported Mercy Corps in providing immediate relief for survivors and lay the groundwork for long-term recovery.
Hours after the earthquake, their Nepal team was out in the streets of Kathmandu to assess immediate needs of survivors. Their first action filled gaps in aid delivery by targeting villages in hard-to-reach areas. Mercy Corps has been working in Nepal since 2006 and has over 100 mostly local staff members, cultivating a deep knowledge of the environment, cultural context and local needs. Mercy Corps team members spoke with mothers, shopkeepers, community leaders, government representatives and others to understand current needs and what will be required for long term recovery and resilience.
Just in the first 30 days following the earthquake, they reached over 43,000 people with emergency supplies and have now reached over 120,000 people. Here is a summary of what we have accomplished together and the plan Mercy Corps has put together for the months ahead.
- Early economic recovery: providing cash is a fast and efficient way to help families purchase the items they need most. It also helps jumpstart local businesses. Mercy Corps will distribute $75 in cash to 15,000 families to support rebuilding and recovery efforts.
- Water, sanitation and hygiene: In addition to water purification supplies distributed in relief kits, Mercy Corps anticipate doing water and sanitation improvements near schools and other community buildings. As Nepal enters the monsoon season, the hygiene situation will be even more urgent, so they will undertake a hygiene promotion campaign on sanitation and public health.
- Sustainable economic recovery, agriculture, and food security: Approximately 80 percent of households in the most severely affected areas rely on farming to earn a living and much of this farmland has been destroyed. They will focus on districts which provide important food sources to Nepal. Mercy Corps will make sure the right seeds, critical farming supplies and tools are available in the marketplace, and that families are able to purchase them. In addition, they will monitor the food security situation closely to ensure families can meet their upcoming immediate and longer term needs.
- Shelter: More than 500,000 homes were destroyed or damaged in the initial earthquake and aftershocks. Mercy Corps are delivering shelter materials and looking at the most effective ways to share information, raise awareness, and help people to reconstruct safer houses.
It will take years of hard work to help the people of Nepal rebuild what they have lost. Your support and the hard work of Mercy Corps were able to immediately respond to the needs of people affected by the earthquake and the massive damage it caused. Thank you for helping the people of Nepal as they look to rebuild their lives.
Please visit Mercy Corps – Nepal Earthquake for more updates, stories from the ground, and information on how to donate.