Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is committing at least $10 million to help those affected by the devastating earthquake in Nepal, as CRS teams prepare to distribute relief supplies to those now living outside, either because their homes were damaged or destroyed or because of fear of the strong continuing aftershocks.
“Our commitment of support is not just to assist in the next few days and weeks, but for years to come,” said Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services. “And it’s in large part because of our generous donors and their compassion for the people of Nepal at this time of need that makes this possible.”
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville and President of the USCCB, has encouraged his brother bishops to take up a second collection for those affected by the earthquake. These funds will be used to support CRS’ emergency response and recovery efforts of CRS, including immediate life-saving assistance as well as a long-term response needed to rebuild communities and livelihoods.
The supplies – temporary housing kits that include tarpaulins and tools, as well as sanitation and hygiene items – were pre-positioned in India because the area is known to be susceptible to earthquakes. They were sent to Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital, in trucks traveling roads damaged by this latest temblor.
CRS teams in Kathmandu said that the supplies are especially needed now as cold, rainy, windy weather has made life miserable for those without shelter.
“There are very remote areas no one has reached so far and that’s where we’re putting our focus,” said Elizabeth Tromans, CRS’ emergency response coordinator. Speaking of some of the challenges facing aid efforts on the ground, she said “There are only a couple of roads into Nepal from India and parts have not been assessed yet and it’s unclear what routes remain open.”
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck on April 25, leveling parts Kathmandu and destroying outlying villages, many of them still out of reach of rescue and recovery teams due to damaged roads. The earthquake also triggered avalanches in the Himalayas. The official death toll is over 5,500 and expected to rise as more villages are reached.
CRS plans to spend $2.5 million in the emergency phase, the next six months. That will reach 15,000 families – 75,000 people – with shelter and other critical supplies. The balance of the funding will be used to help families restore their livelihoods and rebuild their homes.
Relief Supplies Reach Rural Villages in Nepal
A short video featuring the work of Catholic Relief Services (CRS) in Nepal following the devastating 7.8-magnitude earthquake is now available online. The video captures the arrival of a supply truck to a mountainous village in Nepal and the distribution of emergency shelter kits by staff from Catholic Relief Services. The video can be used freely by media.
Also featured in the video are stories from several survivors. “I was afraid. I ran into the fields, and the houses started falling down,” one boy tells the camera. Another survivor says, “The earthquake devastated our village. We cannot live in our homes anymore.”
The death toll from the earthquake continues to climb, with estimates putting it over 7,000 today.
CRS has committed $10 million to the Nepal emergency response, and is partnering with Caritas Nepal to provide 75,000 people with temporary shelter, water treatment and hygiene kits, and blankets. Given the scale of devastation, CRS will likely expand support to reach more people.
For a link to the video, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xSwTf8LPUwI&feature=youtu.be
Catholic Relief Services is the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States. The agency alleviates suffering and provides assistance to people in need in more than 100 countries, without regard to race, religion or nationality. CRS’ relief and development work is accomplished through programs of emergency response, HIV, health, agriculture, education, microfinance and peacebuilding. For more information, visit www.crs.org or www.crsespanol.org and follow Catholic Relief Services on social media: Facebook, Twitter at @CatholicRelief and @CRSnews, Google+, Pinterest and YouTube.