Nepal Earthquake: providing lifesaving assistance

Project location: Nepal
Project start date: May 2015 - Project end date: December 2015
Project number: 2015-007
Beneficiary: UNHCR


On 25 April 2015, at 11:56 local time, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, with epicentre in Lamjung District (north-west of Kathmandu; south of China border).
Official data reports over 4.500 dead, but these figures are expected to increase.
The most affected areas are the Western and Central Regions, including Kathmandu Valley districts. This includes mountain and hilly areas, disperse rural populations as well as some very densely populated districts and Nepal's 2 largest cities - greater Kathmandu and Pokhara. Most affected districts are Sindulpalchowk, Kavre, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Dolakha in the Central Regions and Kaski, Gorkha, Lamjung in the Western Regions. Initial reports from UN field offices are that the Eastern Region is not badly affected.
Impacts in Kathmandu valley include collapsed buildings and walls especially historic buildings in centres, hospitals area overcrowded, running out of room for storing dead bodies and also running short of emergency supplies. BIR hospital is treating people in the streets.
Majority of population is standing outside houses due to fear of aftershocks and structural damage to buildings.

By the end of Monday 27th UNHCR already aided those who are trapped outdoors effort following the Nepal earthquake with an immediate transfer of our stocks of 11,000 count of plastic sheeting and 4,000 solar lamps that have been transferred from our sub office in Damak, eastern Nepal, to the eastern hilly districts of Ramechhap, Okhaldhunga and Sindhuli as requested by the authorities. Later on Monday afternoon, an additional 8,000 plastic sheets and 4,000 solar lamps are being flown to Kathmandu from Dubai thanks to a cargo plane donated by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the United Arab Emirates.
UNHCR will be providing tarpaulins which will help provide shelter to earthquake victims whose homes have been destroyed or who are too afraid of aftershocks to return home. In view of the electricity shortage, UNHCR hopes that the solar lamps can provide some light in the affected areas and help to charge mobile phones enabling people to find relatives and stay in contact.
As UNHCR has the greatest presence - both in staff and stocks - on the ground, the Agency is involved in the joint UN response, offering support to the survivors and making immediately available critical aid items during this first critical emergency phase.
UNHCR's initial delivery is expected to be followed by more tarpaulins, solar lamps and also solar generators to help provide electricity to preserve vital hospital and other medical service operations.

The Nando Peretti Foundation awarded a grant for this project to support UNHCR in assistin the people and families displaced who are unable to return home since the situation remains volatile. UNHCR's main focus now is to improve the quality of response cope and to ensure strenghtened service for persons with specific needs.
These are the main expected outcomes of the intervention:
• Earthquake victims receive protection and assistance
• Electricity is provided for medical services operations

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