CBM UK, the overseas disability charity marks the six-month anniversary (25th October) since the devastating earthquake struck Nepal in April. More than 8800 people lost their lives in the disaster, which also destroyed over 600,000 houses and damaged a further 280,000, according to official figures. Hundreds of thousands of people are estimated to be still homeless.
CBM and its Nepalese partners responded immediately to the disaster, focussing particularly on providing emergency relief and support to people with disabilities and injuries. During the initial phase of the response, CBM worked with local partners to provide humanitarian assistance to people with disabilities and injuries, providing medical treatment, food packs, mental health/psychosocial support and emergency shelter in some of the worst hit areas.
Thanks to the generosity of CBM supporters, CBM have helped more than 21,000 people in some of the most severely affected areas.
CBM has been working in Nepal for 30 years, which meant staff and partners on the ground could respond within hours of the earthquake. As people with disabilities often struggle to access emergency relief, CBM and partners immediately started reaching out through local networks; CBM partner National Federation of the Disabled Nepal mobilised over 180 disabled people’s organisations by text message and local volunteers went out to the homes of people with disabilities, like Purna Maya (pictured), to ensure they could access urgent help.
In the six months following the earthquake, CBM enabled more than 14,800 people to be treated at medical outreach camps in the most affected areas, supplied hundreds of wheelchairs, specialist cushions, tents and heaters to two partner-hospitals for children with disabilities and patients with spinal injuries, and enabled a local partner organisation to provide 2,700 people with psychosocial counselling and trauma care.
In the coming months, CBM will continue to support people with disabilities and their families and communities to rebuild their lives and communities. Alongside communities, CBM will work with the national governments, Nepalese Disabled People’s Organisations, reconstruction agencies and in close collobration with the Shelter Cluster led by International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC) to ensure that the post-emergency response and the rebuilding of the country’s structures and systems are inclusive.
Kirsty Smith, Chief Executive Officer who recently visited Nepal following the earthquake said, “It will be decades before the country is close to full recovery. But I was inspired by the resilience and courage of the people I met. In spite of the terrible hardship, Nepal is working hard to pick itself up and move forward. CBM will be there not just for the months that follow the earthquake but for the years that will be needed to build more inclusive and resilient communities for all.”
CBM, the overseas disability charity, works to transform the lives of people with disabilities, their families and communities, in the poorest communities of the world. The organisation has been working with partners in Nepal for decades to enable disabled people to access healthcare and education, build sustainable livelihoods and play an active role in their community. Find out more at www.cbmuk.org.uk.