Kathmandu / Geneva. May 16, 2015. Three weeks on from the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) continues to scale-up its efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to hundreds of thousands of Nepalese who are in urgent need of assistance. At a press briefing in Kathmandu, the IFRC’s Secretary-General, Elhadj As Sy, announced that the IFRC has increased its emergency appeal to 85 million Swiss Francs (USD 93 million, Euros 81.5 million) which will help the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) in its efforts to assist 700,000 earthquake survivors over the next two years.
“We are still in full emergency mode – the task at hand remains expanding our response while also adapting to meet emerging needs. This involves local and international actors pulling together in a united effort,” said Mr Sy. “Last Tuesday’s earthquake struck a double-blow to thousands of people who remain extremely vulnerable. Our challenge is to restore their dignity by helping them through this critical period. We were here before the disaster, we are here now and we will be here in the long term, supporting communities as they recover.”
Since the April 25 earthquake, Red Cross teams have focused on providing survivors with emergency medical assistance, together with food and non-food relief and emergency shelter. Over 221,000 people are now sheltering under tents or tarpaulins provided by the Red Cross; the aim is to reach at least 500,000 in the coming weeks.
“Our teams on the ground in Dolakha and Sindhupalchok districts are reporting extensive destruction to homes caused by the second earthquake,” explains Dev Ratna Dhakwa, Secretary General of the Nepal Red Cross Society. “The effects have also been felt in the Kathmandu Valley. Just as people felt that it was safe to return to their homes they are now back to spending their nights camped out in the open. This has driven up the demand for emergency shelter materials”.
The IFRC appeal covers a number of areas including; emergency shelter and support for rebuilding homes; food and non-food relief; cash distributions; livelihoods support; clean water and improved sanitation; basic healthcare services and psychosocial support.
“People want to rebuild as quickly as possible and a large part of our appeal is designed to enable households to repair or rebuild their own homes”, said Mr. Sy. “We will also be channelling support to families so that they can improve their livelihoods through income earning activities and support small enterprise revival.”
Video 1 - Sec General Red Cross (as above and attached transcript)
Video 2 - Singati Town, Dolakha Area, Nepal Broll
- general footage from Singati town, collapsed buildings, people digging rubles
- general footage from Dolakha area, people rebuilding houses
- genral footage from Dolakha area, rice fields, people harvesting rice
The second major earthquake in Nepal (May 12th 2015) caused serious damage to areas that were not affected during the first earthquake.
One of the worst hit areas is Dolakha, northeast from capital Kathmandu. Drive from Kathmandu to Singati takes up to eight hours. Earthquake has caused severe landslides and road blocks.
Singati town is badly destroyed. Estimated 90 percent of the buildings have either collapsed or about to collapse anytime. Singati is a trade town and due to the devostation people have lost their livelihoods such as shops, pharmacy, dental clinic, hotels etc. In Singati people are forced to leave their homes.
On the way to Singati people are already rebuilding their housing. The monsuun season will begin within few weeks and shelter is very much needed. At the same time the villagers hurry to harvest the rice and as well to build shelter for food before the rain starts.
Video 3 - Dolakha is one of the most affected areas after the 2nd earthquake
Dolakha is one of the most affected areas after the second earthquake, and in Singati almost all of the houses are now either completely or partially destroyed. The district with a population of 290,000 was the epicenter of the second quake and is severely damaged. The government says 99% of houses are uninhabitable.
For further information, please contact:
Patrick Fuller, IFRC Asia Pacific communications manager
Tel: +977 9803914859 +60122308451 / Patrick.email@example.com Twitter: @pat_fuller and @IFRCAsiapacific
Nichola Jones, IFRC communications delegate
Tel: +977 9803914943 +447793167032 / Twitter @nicjones81
Benoit Carpentier, IFRC team leader, public communications