Present in Nepal for 15 years, Handicap International was able to launch an immediate response to the earthquake that struck the country on April 25, 2015. Taking advantage of advanced natural disaster risk preparations, staff began providing care and treatment to earthquake victims within four hours of the disaster. Thanks to $2.6 million in donations, Handicap International has been able to care for 6,200 injured survivors and provide essential aid to thousands more vulnerable individuals and families.
Rehabilitation and Psychosocial Support Sessions
Short of staff and medical equipment, hospitals were quickly overwhelmed with patients after the earthquake. To prevent the development of permanent disabilities, many of the injured needed immediate rehabilitation care. Handicap International’s physical therapy teams provided crucial post-traumatic care, organized more than 16,000 rehabilitation and psychosocial support sessions, and distributed more than 4,700 mobility aids such as crutches and prosthetic legs.
At the peak of its response, Handicap International was working in 44 healthcare facilities in Kathmandu, Nuwakot, and Sindhupalchowk districts. To reach the injured in more remote areas, 34 mobile teams conducted field and in-home rehabilitation.
Essential Aid Distributions
The earthquake destroyed more than 600,000 homes and damaged more than 280,000 others. To help families who lost almost everything, Handicap International distributed more than 4,300 kits containing tents, cooking supplies, hygiene items, and building supplies. To help people survive the harsh winter months, Handicap International gave kits containing warm clothes, blankets, plastic sheets, rope, and mattresses to more than 9,000 people.
Many of the people affected by the earthquake live in isolated regions that are difficult to access. Since many roads were damaged, it was difficult for humanitarian organizations to reach the most vulnerable individuals. Handicap International ran three humanitarian aid storage centers to store and transport humanitarian aid to rural communities. The organization stored and transported 5,950 tons of equipment on behalf of 37 NGOs. The tense political situation in Nepal and fuel shortages made this work extremely challenging.
Including the Most Vulnerable People
The lives of many vulnerable people—pregnant women, the elderly, people with disabilities, and unaccompanied children—were made much more difficult by the earthquake. Handicap International worked with other humanitarian organizations and community leaders to ensure these people were able to access aid and services.
Read more about our actions since April 25, 2015 on our Nepal Updates blog.