Nepal: People need even more help after the second earthquake

Nepal: People need even more help after the second earthquake

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CARE is scaling up its response in affected areas / access to remote areas increasingly difficult

“The little hope people had left is now buried under rubble and rocks,” says Iljitsj Wemerman, who is leading CARE’s emergency response in Sindhupalchowk, the area which was most affected by the second deadly earthquake on Tuesday. “The houses were basically collapsing in front of us and the remaining structures still standing after the earthquake two weeks ago, have now also been destroyed.”

CARE had started supporting people in Sindhupalchowk, and will now further scale up its response. Two trucks are on route and shelter kits, tents, blankets, kitchen and hygiene kits will be distributed starting tomorrow. “People need everything: a safe shelter, food and hygiene items. Everything is full of dust and dirt and the risk of diseases is increasing”, says Wemerman. According to CARE’s assessment, major landslides have made accessing the affected areas even more difficult.  The size of the geographical area, the mountainous terrain, landslides and narrowed roads near the epicentre make assistance to the remote areas extremely challenging and costly.

 “The earthquake has also shown once more how important it is to offer psychosocial support to people affected by the quake as soon as possible,” says Wemerman. “What is worse than the quake itself is hearing the screams and cries of people, especially the ones of the children. People are scared, they are searching for loved ones, fearing for the few belongings they have left. And the constant aftershocks allow them no time to rest.” CARE is planning to respond with psychosocial support and is also offering psychological support to the more than 170 staff members, some of them having lost family members and houses themselves.

So far, CARE has reached more than 13,000 people with food, emergency shelter and hygiene items, and is scaling up its response to reach 100,000 of the most vulnerable people. CARE focuses on the extremely remote areas in the distrcts of Gorkha, Dhading, Lamjung and Sindhupalchowk, which have been worst affected by the quake. Over the next month CARE plans to distribute weather resistant emergency shelter to 30,000 people in preparation for the monsoon rains. “

CARE has launched an appeal of $40 million to provide emergency relief and long-term recovery. It takes $250 to provide a month’s worth of food for a family and $220 to provide a family with emergency shelter.