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The voice of Scotland’s vibrant voluntary sector

Published by Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations

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Scots aid agency reports from Nepal one year after devastating earthquake

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Mercy Corps is still active in Nepal 12 months after the devastating earthquake which killed 8,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless

A Scottish based international aid organisation has revealed it has helped more than 135,000 people in Nepal following a devastating earthquake there a year ago.

The 7.8 magnitude quake, which struck at midday on 25 April 2015, killed over 8,000 people, injured more than 21,000 and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

A major aftershock on 12 May killed 200 more and left another 2,500 injured.

Mercy Corps, which is based in Edinburgh, has been in the country providing assistance over the last year.

The landscape is still fragile, but the people are not

Speaking on the anniversary of the quake, Sanjay Karki, the charity’s director for Nepal, says despite facing many challenges the country is finally on the road to recovery.

“We still feel aftershocks and we still see landslides. The landscape is still fragile, but the people are not,” says Karki.

“We know these challenges will continue, and we’re working side-by-side with communities to prevent further destruction and rebuild stronger.”

Between September and February, a crippling fuel shortage temporarily suspended relief operations throughout Nepal.

Despite the fuel shortage, Mercy Corps teams were able to lay the foundation for long-term recovery efforts by distributing essential winter supplies and cash so families could buy what they needed while injecting £1 million into local economies.

Over the past 12 months, Mercy Corps has delivered emergency kits for 115,000 people; winter supplies such as blankets and quilts for more than 36,000; cash transfers for 23,000 families; small grants for communities and businesses to enable them to rebuild and resume services; and solar lamps equipped with a mobile phone charging outlet for more than 115,000 people.

The charity’s ongoing programmes include providing technical knowledge and support to efficiently build affordable, earthquake-resistant homes and has employed local residents to strengthen hillsides above communities that are vulnerable to landslides during earthquakes and monsoon season.

Karki continued: “Our recovery efforts are far from over. The earthquakes had the greatest impact on Nepal’s poorest citizens.

“There is still a lot to be done, but we see a brighter future for Nepal. We’re building back stronger than before.”

Mercy Corps is just one of a number of charities and aid organisations from around the world which has offered assistance in Nepal.

In total it raised £9m for emergency response and long-term recovery adding to the £87m donated by the UK public to the DEC Nepal appeal which helped fund 13 other UK aid agencies to reach more than 1.6 million people with relief.

 

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