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The Nepal Earthquakes and Our Relief Response

Updated: Thanks to donors, we’re providing emergency aid and care for more than 350,000 quake survivors.

| By Chris Huber




  • The two quakes in April and May of last year killed more than 8,800 people.
  • Some 8 million people have been affected by the quakes.
  • Since World Vision’s response began last April, we have reached more than 350,000 people in the worst-affected areas.
  • The recovery phase of our earthquake response began in October and focuses on providing 142,964 survivors with materials for shelter and getting through the winter months.
  • Winter brings renewed risks for vulnerable survivors.
  • Top needs include safe shelter, household items, clean water and sanitation, food, healthcare, and support for children to stay in school.

Nepal’s deadliest disaster

On April 25, 2015, a catastrophic magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck central Nepal, killing more than 8,800.

This is the deadliest disaster on record for the Himalayan country of 26 million people. After weeks of aftershocks, another powerful magnitude-7.3 earthquake struck the same region on May 12.

Some 8 million people have been affected by the quakes, and more than 890,000 homes were damaged or destroyed.

Thanks to donors like you, we’re providing emergency aid and helping survivors rebuild their lives.

With your help, we’re reaching more than 350,000 people

We’ve reached more than 358,500 people with emergency aid and recovery supplies since the response began April 26, the day after the earthquake.

The recovery phase of our earthquake response began in October and focuses on providing 142,964 survivors in the worst-affected areas of Bhaktapur, Gorkha, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Sindhuli, Sindhupalchok, and Lamjung with materials to construct or maintain shelter, supplies to keep warm and nourished through the winter months, and infrastructure to help children stay in school.

We’re providing essentials, including:

  • Tarps
  • Corrugated roofing sheets
  • Food supplies
  • Water-purifying tablets and access to clean water sources
  • Blankets
  • Sleeping mats
  • Kitchen sets
  • Mosquito nets
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Toilet construction

World Vision staff members register families for aid distribution using smartphones to verify eligibility and generate a photo-identification card. The cards are part of an innovative aid distribution system, Last Mile Mobile Solutions, which we developed to ensure efficient delivery of disaster relief items.

A safe place for children

The earthquakes destroyed at least 30,000 classrooms; 80 percent of schools were damaged. Nearly 1 million children went without a school facility to attend for months after the quake.

In the immediate aftermath, our staff set up Child-Friendly Spaces, where children could play, rest, and get help coping with the disaster.

As we help families focus on long-term recovery, World Vision is building and equipping temporary learning centers. There, students can get learning materials and hygiene kits, and teachers and administrators can receive training in child protection, school safety, and disaster preparedness.

We recently finished outfitting 50 centers to continue operations through the winter.

“World Vision aims to get all children back to school, while also assuring safe learning environments,” says Rajani Maharga, World Vision’s education coordinator in Bhaktapur.

“You provide…educational materials and many other games so that we forget [all our] fear and sorrow and enjoy the day.”
—A child who visited a Child-Friendly Space

Snapshots from Nepal

Winter cold increases urgency

Winter brings plummeting temperatures and increased risk of weather-related sickness or death for vulnerable earthquake survivors still living in inadequate shelter. The need is still urgent.

“We know the clock is ticking for those impacted by the earthquake in some of the most remote areas,” says Phillip Ewert, operations director for World Vision in Nepal. “Our staff — as part of the humanitarian effort — are pushing to deploy aid under extreme conditions, well aware of that urgency.”

We work with 43 local partner aid organizations to help people as efficiently as possible.

In the long term, families need help to re-establish their livelihoods and construct safer, earthquake-resistant homes and schools.

The greatest needs remain shelter, household items, clean water and sanitation, food, healthcare, and protection. The work of rebuilding and restoration will continue through April 2018.

Our work in Nepal

World Vision has 73 projects in Nepal managed by 205 staff. For more than a decade, we have worked with communities in Nepal, focusing on:

  • Maternal and child health
  • Education
  • Child protection
  • Livelihoods
  • Water, sanitation, and hygiene

World Vision has been in Nepal for more than a decade, preparing for the “big one” with training for communities to help reduce the risks associated with earthquakes, and pre-positioning supplies. Preparedness activities took place in the Lalitpur and Rupandehi districts for about 65,000 people.

You can download our fact sheet to learn more about our work in Nepal (.pdf).

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