In April 2015, Nepal was hit by the most destructive earthquake in 80 years. With a magnitude of 7.8 on the Richter scale, it left almost 9,000 people dead and 22,000 injured. 17 days later, a 7.3 magnitude quake struck, causing even more loss of life and destruction, and disrupting the recovery operation that had just started. The earthquake completely destroyed nearly 600,000 homes across Nepal and damaged over 280,000 more.
Just weeks after the earthquake, the monsoon season began. Treacherously narrow and winding roads are prone to frequent landslides. Many families left their villages, either because their houses were made uninhabitable or because they were afraid they would collapse in the landslides. The displacements led to the forming of IDP sites where multiple families share temporary shelters. Living in communal shelters is challenging for everyone, but especially for women and girls who face risks of gender-based violence, sexual abuse, and difficulties in maintaining personal hygiene. The compromised security of these settings makes women and girls more susceptible to trafficking and exploitation, with around 12,000 victims almost every year.
Immediately after the disaster, People in Need provided humanitarian aid to the most afflicted and satisfied the basic needs of those who lost everything in the earthquake, including material needed to build temporary shelters, and helped displaced persons to prepare for winter months. At the beginning of 2016, our team together with the communities affected began working on rehabilitation of the infrastructure in remote areas that suffered the most damage and dealing with the topic of protection of women and children. Apart from supporting the displaced populations, in 2017 the organization also started supporting the returnees.