One month on from the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on 25 April, aid agencies including ChildFund are working hard with local authorities to help children and families across the country who’ve lost homes, schools and loved ones.
The number of people killed has now risen to 8,631, including the 154 people who lost their lives during the second 12 May quake making it the deadliest disaster ever to hit the small Himalayan nation. Another 16,808 people have been injured.
With monsoon season approaching, hundreds of thousands of families are in urgent need of food, water and shelter. According to government figures, half a million homes have been destroyed and another 269,190 damaged. Schools in Nepal officially reopened on 31 May, but almost one million children will be unable to resume their education because their classrooms were destroyed.
ChildFund is providing emergency relief in the two districts where we already operated community development programs – Sindhupalchok, one of Nepal’s worst-hit districts, and Ramechhap where many houses collapsed in the 12 May earthquake. ChildFund’s immediate and long-term response will focus on food, shelter, water and sanitation, child protection, education and livelihoods.
Providing emergency food supplies
Within a week of the first quake hitting Nepal, ChildFund was the first organisation to deliver urgently need food supplies to children and families in four remote villages in Sindhupalchok. Over 45,000 kg of essential food items – rice, dhal (lentils) and salt – were distributed to 3,179 families, benefitting more than 12,000 people.
ChildFund is currently providing a second food distribution for 2,800 families who are running low on food. Based on UN recommendations, each family will receive 30kg rice, 4kg dhal, 1kg salt and 2 litres of cooking oil, which will support their dietary needs for 19 days. Some families whose homes have been destroyed will also receive tarps, ahead of the monsoonal rains due at the end of the month.
Establishing child-centred spaces
ChildFund is in the process of setting up seven child-centred spaces (CCS) – safe refuges where children can play, learn and receive trauma support. The locations of the centres have been specifically planned so no child will have to walk more than 15 minutes to reach one. The first CCS will be operational before the end of May and all seven CCSs will be up and running by the first week of June.
Child protection is at the centre of ChildFund’s emergency response programs because children become more vulnerable during emergencies. Children in Sindhupalchok need access to proper care and support so they can begin to recover from this disaster.
11-year-old Sanju (pictured above) says: “I’m just feeling hurt right now because people close to me were killed in the earthquake. There were three friends I know who died. One of them was my cousin, her name was Anesca. She was a very good friend.”