In April 2015, Nepal was hit by the most destructive earthquake in 80 years. With a magnitude of 7.8, it left almost 9,000 people dead and 22,000 wounded. 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 sites for internally displaced people 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 difficulty maintaining personal hygiene. The compromised security of these settings makes women and girls more susceptible to trafficking and exploitation.
Immediately after the disaster, PIN provided humanitarian aid to the most afflicted and helped displaced persons prepare for winter months. In 2016, our team began working on the rehabilitation of 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.
In 2018, PIN is supporting the government of Nepal in relocation of the population displaced by the earthquake and the landless people as well as support vulnerable population to reconstruct earthquake resistant houses. The country programme is also expanding its involvement in the social protection and inclusion sector through the Our Turn programme, which is focusing on gender issues.