Nepal Earthquake Emergency Appeal

A major earthquake struck Nepal on the morning of the 25th April 2015, causing thousands of deaths and leveling major parts of the capital, Kathmandu. Avalanches were also reported in the Himalayas, including on Mount Everest, where further deaths occurred. The epicenter quake measured 7.8 on the Richter scale, with over 100 after-shocks, one of which reached 6.7 on the Richter scale.

The economy of Nepal, a nation of 27.8 million people, relies heavily on tourism, principally trekking and Himalayan mountain climbing. The quake has put a huge strain on the resources of this impoverished country best known for the highest mountain in the world.

The United Nations and the World Bank estimate that more than 8 million people have been affected by the earthquake and 1.3 million are in need of food assistance.

See photos of Nepal Earthquake Relief work being undertaken by ITC member, the Sadh Samaj Charitable Trust ‎here.

Nepal Earthquake Infographic International Trade Council

Effects of the Nepal Earthquake Disaster

The areas majorly affected by the earthquake are densely populated, and the qualities of buildings are often poor. Across central Nepal, including in Kathmandu, the capital, hundreds of thousands of people have been forced out of their homes and are living without clean water or sanitation.

This is a long-term emergency. With so much major infrastructure destroyed rebuilding will take many years. The U.S. Geological Survey estimates that reconstruction costs could exceed $10 billion, or half of national GDP.

The International Trade Council has several members within Nepal, and is working to co-ordinate the provision of infrastructure relief in the form of water purification and sanitation systems, electricity, communications and other engineering supplies.

Facts and Figures

As at 29th April 2015

  • Of Nepal’s 75 districts, about 39, mostly in the western and central regions, have suffered damage in the earthquake.
  • Unicef states that 2.8 million children require urgent assistance.
  • The World Food Programme estimates that 8 million people have been affected by Nepal’s earthquake (approximately 30%).
  • Jamie McGoldrick, the UN resident coordinator in Kathmandu, states that 1.4 million needed food assistance.
  • Nepal’s Prime Minister warns that the final death figure may reach 10,000.
  • Many small mountain-side villages have disappeared entirely. A landslide struck a village in the district of Rasuwa, north of Kathmandu, leaving up to 250 people missing. Similar reports are coming in from neighbouring areas.
  • Electricity and telephone service are sporadic in Kathmandu, the capital, and non-existent elsewhere.
  • The tourism sector, accounting for around 10% of GDP and a similar percentage of all jobs, looks finished for the short-term. This leaves the country with a massive short-fall in revenues which are essential for rebuilding.
Nepal Earthquake Infographic Death Toll International Trade Council

Why Infrastructure Relief is Essential

Nepal is one of Asia’s poorest nations with unemployment over 40% and per capita GDP of just $1,000. The country has not had a fully functioning government since 2008 and has had 7 Prime Ministers in as many years.

Although the Nepal National Building Code has been on the books for twenty years, local builders have ignored it with impunity, with most construction remaining unregulated. In a country where a quarter of the population survives on an income of less than $1.25 per day, code compliance is beyond the means of millions of Nepalese, meaning that the international community must step in to help – before another disaster strikes.

“With housing construction standards in Nepal being extremely low due to the poverty of the general population, the impact of the earthquake has been devastating,” says Rajiv Biswas, Asia-Pacific chief economist for IHS analysis group.

A recent study by Geohazard International found that two-thirds of the structures built in in Nepal did not meet seismic code standards.

That study “found that rapid urbanization, with its resulting unplanned growth and inadequate enforcement of regulations, has led to substandard and unsafe housing patterns.”

Infrastructure is critical for the creation of jobs and economic stability. A lack of infrastructure will hold back Nepal’s recovery efforts as power, water and sanitation systems are essential for a healthy population.

Offers of In-Kind Donations

Please be aware that logistical issues surrounding transport to Nepal are quite complex (e.g. checking the donated items, sorting, consolidation of small shipments, and managing freight to a highly congested airport) can cause delays in collection.

If you are offering an in-kind donation please provide the following information:

  • Your company name:
  • Contact person details (phone, fax, email):
  • Item(s) description:
  • Quantity:
  • Packaging (e.g. packed in sealed branded boxes each of 25x25x25cm weighing 1kg packed on pallets):
  • Location of pickup:
  • Use-by dates (if any):
  • Condition of goods (e.g. brand new, seconds, used):

Please send this information to: [email protected]

Once this information is known we can attempt to either directly coordinate freight or we can work with other relief agencies to consolidate it into their shipments.

Offers of Services

If you are interested in donating service/skill(s)/time to the Nepal reconstruction efforts please provide the following information:

  • Your company name:
  • Contact person details (phone, fax, email):
  • Service/skills offered:
  • Period of availability:

Please send this information to: [email protected]

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