The Haiti Advocacy Working Group extends a message of condolence to the people of Nepal as they observe the first year commemoration of the April 25, 2015 earthquake. One year ago today, 8,700 lives were lost, more than 800,000 homes destroyed and countless livelihoods destroyed after a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck central Nepal. On May 12th, a second quake exacerbated damage from the first, making relief efforts all the more difficult. Up to 3,000 more persons perished.
As Nepal awaits the start of Monsoon rains and four million people still live in temporary, poor quality shelters, NGOs working there warn of an emerging health crisis, given poor sanitary and living conditions. Even as the Nepalese government has promised to imminently build new, earthquake resistant homes, hundreds of Nepalese families wonder why it has taken so long, and if indeed they will qualify for this much-promised aid. Just over half of the 4.4 billion US dollars pledged globally has actually been delivered, and of that, very little has been received by Nepal’s poorest families. Hundreds are waiting for reconstruction to reach them.
One year later, reports coming from Nepal are startlingly similar to the news that emerged from Haiti, one year after its own devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010.
Since 2010, the Haiti Advocacy Working Group (HAWG), in collaboration with Haitian civil society organizations has advocated for a just recovery in Haiti. More than six years later, we are still calling for durable and dignified housing for the nation’s poorest, for women’s and children’s needs to be prioritized, for livelihoods to be rebuilt and for people’s participation in the recovery process. Above all, we are still calling for accountability on the delivery and use of humanitarian aid in post emergency contexts.
HAWG expresses its unreserved support and solidarity to the people of Nepal as they begin this long journey towards a just recovery.