Latest reports from Nepal sadly confirm more than 7,000 deaths and over 16,000 people injured. Some 288,000 houses have been confirmed destroyed and another 254,000 damaged during the earthquake and subsequent aftershocks. Unfortunately these numbers are expected to grow as the full extent of the damage becomes better known.
“We have launched an appeal to raise much needed funds for disaster response operations,” said Martin Thomas, Habitat for Humanity Australia chief executive.
“As we continue to assess the impact of the earthquake, we know there will be significant need to help families rebuild their homes and their lives in the months ahead. Australians are known for their generosity and the more funds we raise, the more families we can help.”
Habitat for Humanity’s disaster response teams are on the ground assessing the situation and coordinating response operations with local government agencies and disaster relief partners.
Habitat for Humanity will initially be supporting 20,000 families in a variety of ways according to needs. Our teams have been assisting rubble removal and will be distributing shelter kits, valued at appropriately $AUD300. The kits are likely to contain tarpaulins and other materials to provide temporary shelter and protection. Transitional shelter solutions and longer term new home construction needs are being evaluated.
Based on available funding, our response will follow Habitat’s model of assisting affected communities by working alongside first responders to provide housing solutions ranging from emergency shelter interventions to permanent home reconstruction.
“Shelter is one of the most urgently needed forms of assistance particularly as monsoon season approaches,” said Mr Thomas. “With the possibility of more aftershocks causing further destruction is spreading fear among survivors and it is vital that we respond urgently to help families in desperate need.”
Many people are sleeping outdoors due to unstable structures, like 16-year-old student Anzela Shahi (pictured below) and her family who have been sleeping under a tarpaulin on the footpath since the earthquake struck.
Habitat for Humanity has worked in Nepal for 18 years and helped more than 10,000 families gain access to safe, decent houses. However, as a highly rural and predominantly agricultural country, disasters such as these leave families in Nepal vulnerable.
Globally, Habitat for Humanity has been actively responding to disasters since 1997 and has helped more than 200,000 families in 44 countries, including most recently following Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines and currently in Vanuatu after Cyclone Pam devastated communities. Habitat for Humanity Australia has also sent hundreds of volunteers to Nepal to help build homes for families in need through its Global Village program since 2008.
Click here to make a tax-deductible donation and help families who have lost their homes in the earthquake. If you wish to electronically transfer money into a bank account please email email@example.com
Gifts in kind:
Habitat for Humanity urges donors to make cash rather than in-kind donations. We are unable to accept or distribute goods donated by the public to communities affected by disasters. As part of our disaster recovery work, relief items are purchased locally or as close to the area as possible. For maximum speed and flexibility, and to ensure we supply the most needed aid materials, donating money is the best way to help people affected by an emergency. This empowers people to buy what they need the most and support local business.
At this time, Habitat is not considering volunteer opportunities in Kathmandu due to the logistical challenges in the earthquake-affected areas. Volunteers will be needed most during the recovery phase and Habitat is currently assessing the damage and determining need for volunteer opportunities. If you’d like to register your interest in assisting in possible future rebuilding efforts, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Accuracy of information:
Information in this article is accurate and up to date as of May 11 2015. Habitat for Humanity Australia strives to provide the latest information as news filters in through our Nepal office and through other agencies such as UNOCHA and DFAT. Our blog and website is updated regularly to ensure timeliness, transparency and accuracy around intended recipient’s situations, why the donations are being collected and what they will be used for and program updates. Check back for further updates or visit our blog for more information.