Nepal Earthquake: Six-Month Update


Handicap International’s teams continue to provide essential support more than six months after the devastating Nepal earthquake, which killed more than 8,700 people.

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Since April 25, within hours of the magnitude 7.8 earthquake, Handicap International’s physical therapy teams have been doing incredible work. Thanks to visionary, long-term support from individual donors, and agencies such as USAID, Handicap International has been working in Nepal for 15 years, and had the trained staff on hand to respond. These professionals provided post-traumatic care, and organized 10,500 rehabilitation sessions for more than 4,000 patients. They also distributed more than 2,300 mobility aids and special equipment such as wheelchairs, crutches, and ergonomic mattresses, and provided 2,200 people with cooking items, tents, and hygiene kits.

Handicap International has since worked in 20 hospitals, medical clinics, and permanent and mobile rehabilitation sites. Staff organized group and one-on-one counselling sessions to help victims overcome trauma. The organization also set up a hotline for people to call in for help.

The earthquake destroyed more than 600,000 homes, and damaged another 280,000. To help families who had lost almost everything, Handicap International distributed more than 4,300 kits packed with essential, non-food items such as tents, cooking kits, hygiene kits and blankets. Staff also distributed equipment to build corrugated roofs to protect 2,200 families from monsoon rains. When 500 of our beneficiaries were discharged from care, we gave their families a “returning home kit,” packed with basic medical supplies, blankets, cooking, and hygiene items.

Handicap International works with other humanitarian operators to ensure that no one is excluded from aid. This is crucial, because the earthquake exacerbated the lives of many of Nepal’s most vulnerable people, such as pregnant women, victims of sexual and gender-based violence, older people and disabled people, and unaccompanied children.

With a view to the long-term, Handicap International is building the capacities of rehabilitation teams to better meet patient needs. Working with the Ministry of Health, physical therapy services are now included in Nepal’s health system, and new rehabilitation units are opening. Thanks to Handicap International donors, the country’s health facilities are better prepared for future natural disasters.

Our key U.S. supporters in Nepal include: