Kathmandu, NEPAL (May 6, 2015) — Since the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal on April 25, international aid agency CARE has reached nearly 11,000 people with food, emergency shelter and hygiene items, and is scaling up its response to reach 100,000 of the most vulnerable people, with a focus on the remote areas of Nepal, where many villages have yet to receive any aid due to blocked access.
Over the past week, CARE has distributed emergency shelter and hygiene kits to over 5,000 vulnerable people in Gorkha, a rural area near the epicentre of the earthquake where over 80 percent of the homes have been damaged or destroyed. In the Lamjung district, CARE distributed food, hygiene kits and emergency shelter to over 1,200 people and reached more than 4,000 in Kathmandu Valley with food, sleeping mats and clean water.
“People in the remote villages have literally lost everything and are in desperate need of help but are very difficult to access. Our team drove for 4 hours and hiked three hours to reach a village in Sindhupalchowk to find it completely flattened,” said Lex Kassenberg, CARE Country Director in Nepal. “But CARE is starting reach these areas with critical items like food and shelter. People are very frightened of the upcoming monsoon season, so shelter will be a major priority for CARE.”
Over the next month CARE plans to distribute weather resistant emergency shelter to 30,000 people in preparation for the monsoon rains. In the coming week, vital food and shelter items are being distributed to villages in Sindhupalchowk and Dhading.
Impacts on pregnant women and mothers with newborns is also a concern, as many women in the rural areas no longer have access to healthcare because many of the health clinics are destroyed. To help, CARE is distributing reproductive health kits to villages in Gorkha this week that include safe birthing kits, essential medicines and supplies for birthing attendants to handle medical complications in delivery. In the coming weeks, there are plans to reach all pregnant women and mothers with newborns with reproductive kits in the districts CARE is working in.
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. Donations can be made here.
CARE has worked in Nepal since 1978, in areas including food Security, HIV/AIDS, health, education, water and sanitation, and the empowerment of women and girls. The organization responded to massive landslides in Nepal’s Sindhupalchowk district and floods in the mid-west of the country in August 2014, and works in 33 of 75 Nepal’s districts. CARE is familiar with the regions affected by the earthquake and implements projects in the western and central region.
Founded in 1945, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE has more than six decades of experience helping people prepare for disasters, providing lifesaving assistance when a crisis hits, and helping communities recover after the emergency has passed. CARE places special focus on women and children, who are often disproportionately affected by disasters. To learn more, visit www.care.org.