Friday July 24, 2015

Islamic Relief and 12 UK charity partners battle monsoon rains to reach 2.2 million quake survivors in Nepal

Three months after the devastating Nepal earthquake, 13 of the UK’s leading aid agencies have reached more than 2.2 million people with aid including emergency shelter, food, clean water, sanitation, education services, and healthcare.

The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), of which Islamic Relief is a member, launched a major appeal in the aftermath of the quake and raised £83 million. Using these funds and money from other sources, DEC member agencies have worked with international partners, local organisations and affected communities to deliver aid across 14 of the worst-hit districts including Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot and Rasuwa.

Islamic Relief has reached over 80,000 people affected by the quake so far, providing vital aid including food, shelter and sanitation, as well as constructing ten temporary learning centres to ensure children don’t miss out.

The quake was the worst to hit Nepal in 80 years. It destroyed the homes of 2.4 million people, forcing many families to live in makeshift shelters with meagre protection against the worsening monsoon rains. After a second major earthquake on May 12 and regular aftershocks, some people are still too afraid to return to their homes, living in tents along roadsides or in friends and neighbours’ gardens.

The DEC’s chief executive, Saleh Saeed, recently visited Nepal to see for himself how the money raised is being spent.

“The generosity of the UK public has helped DEC members to reach more than two million people in the first three months of the response,” he says. “Our members continue to work at full pace, providing urgent aid to remote villages despite the heavy rains and regular landslides. They will continue to work with Nepalese communities for years to come.”

Some aid agencies have deployed engineers and experts to help people construct shelters and one agency has built a model house to encourage replication. Others are paying people to rebuild their homes, providing a much needed income, as well as shelter, while some agencies are distributing cash so people can buy construction materials locally.

Despite the heavy rains and damage to the health system, a widespread health crisis has been averted. DEC members have distributed hygiene and water kits across the 14 priority districts, built latrines, provided clean drinking water and water purification supplies. With 46% of water systems damaged or destroyed, water and sanitation provision is vital.

In the districts Sindhupalchowk, Nuwakot and Rasuwa, Islamic Relief will be reaching over 20,000 people with shelter kits and constructing new resilient permanent shelter. We will be distributing material and funds for the construction of latrines for over 4,000 families.

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