As Nepal marks the first anniversary of two devastating earthquakes this week, the Caritas international network continues to invest millions of dollars to assist survivors.
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April last followed by another on 12 May, 2015 left almost 9,000 people dead, caused numerous casualties and destroyed tens of thousands of homes and buildings.
A major focus of the global Caritas network has been to provide good quality housing. As the Caritas member agency chosen by Caritas Nepal to play a lead coordination role among 18 Caritas agencies from around the world, Caritas Australia has been very active in this response.
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, Caritas Australia delivered emergency aid to over 59,000 households in the form of food, emergency shelter, water and sanitation relief items.
Caritas Australia CEO, Paul O’Callaghan, said that “We have helped over 1.2 million Nepali people so far.” He has joined members of the Caritas global network and other agencies, as well as Caritas Australia’s Vice Chair, Bishop Peter Stasiuk, in Kathmandu to mark the earthquake anniversary at a three-day event from 25-28 April 2016.
“Despite losing almost everything, the people of this region of Nepal showed great strength and resilience in the face of this tragedy. We are committed to assisting them in the recovery phase over the next three years,” Mr O’Callaghan said.
Caritas Australia’s supporters responded generously to the Nepal Earthquake appeal, contributing $4.3 million. The Australian Government, through the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade also contributed $640,000 to this emergency response.
Mr O’Callaghan said that, following the immediate relief phase, “we are now working to ensure sustainable, long-term outcomes for the people impacted by this disaster.”
The earthquake that devastated communities in central Nepal on April 25, 2015, not only turned Man Bahadur Garti Chetri and his wife’s home in Sindhulpalchok to rubble, but also took the life of their 10 year old daughter.
The Caritas network has helped Man Bahadur with immediate relief of a food basket, water and sanitation kit, wheat seeds and corrugated iron sheeting for temporary shelter.