Nepal: Funding shortfall leaves quake survivors at high risk, warns the Red Cross

Published: 22 May 2015

Kathmandu/Delhi/Geneva, May 23 2015: Tens of thousands of people will be left with little or no protection from the impending monsoon season unless donors step forward with urgently needed funding to support emergency shelter needs of earthquake survivors.

Last Tuesday’s second major quake destroyed thousands more homes across districts that had already borne the brunt of April 25’s devastating 7.8M tremor.  Increased levels of destruction have compounded people’s suffering, particularly in the Dolakha and Sindhupalchok districts where more than 90 per cent of buildings have been reduced to rubble and thousands of people killed

“Every day we are bringing in to the country supplies of tents and tarpaulins which are being sent to the hardest hit areas but it is simply not enough,” said Martin Faller, the head of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Nepal.

“The longer people are forced to live in poor, insanitary conditions among the rubble of their former homes, the greater the risk of disease outbreaks. Cholera is a potential threat in these situations and we are scaling up our prevention efforts.”

The IFRC expanded its emergency operation in the wake of the second quake and is appealing for $93 million to support 700,000 people with the main focus on shelter, health, clean water and sanitation and emergency relief.

More than 225,000 people are currently sheltering under Red Cross tents and tarpaulins, with tens of thousands more due to receive help in the coming days and weeks. Tools, materials, training in safer building techniques and cash grants will also be distributed to support families as they strive to rebuild.

Six Red Cross and Red Crescent emergency response medical units are now operating in the country including a 60-bed field hospital set up by the Norwegian Red Cross in Choutara, Sindhupalchok district. Tens of thousands of litres of safe drinking water are being provided to thousands of people every day by Red Cross teams.

Accessing remote and mountainous areas with relief is a major challenge, particularly in the wake of the second quake but the Red Cross is working with partner agencies to recruit and train thousands of Sherpas who will be able to hike to the hardest to reach areas with emergency supplies.

Dev Ratna Dhakhwa, Secretary General of the Nepal Red Cross said: “Landslides and rock falls have made our mission increasingly difficult and we are striving to overcome these challenges – but we can’t meet those needs without funding. Coordination with other organisations and the government is also vital ensure the most vulnerable people get the support they desperately need.”

The Nepal Red Cross is working across 14 of the worst-hit districts with specialist teams operating across remote areas and more than 6,500 volunteers.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has also been working across quake affected areas, reuniting thousands of people with their missing loved ones, providing psychosocial support to quake survivors and working with Nepal’s authorities on the dignified management of the dead and body identification. 

For further information, please contact:

In Kathmandu

Lucy Keating, IFRC communications delegate

Tel: +977 980 391 4859 +44 7711 376 377 /

Twitter: @LucyK80

Nichola Jones, IFRC communications delegate

Tel: +977 9803914943 +447793167032 / Twitter @nicjones81

Dibya Raj Poudel, Nepal Red Cross Society, Communications Manager

Tel: +9779841699068 Email:  

Krishna Chandra Chalisey

Head of communications, ICRC

Tel: + 977 9851000602 /

In Kuala Lumpur

Patrick Fuller, IFRC Asia Pacific communications manager

Tel: +977 980391 +60122308451 / Twitter: @pat_fuller and @IFRCAsiapacific

In Delhi

Maude Froberg, IFRC regional communications manager

Tel: +918130918887/98

  Twitter: @maudefroberg


In Geneva

Benoit Carpentier, IFRC team leader, public communications

Tel: +41792132413  Email: Twitter: @BenoistC

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is the world’s largest volunteer-based humanitarian network, reaching 150 mil­lion people each year through its 189 member National Societies. Together, the IFRC acts before, during and after disasters and health emergencies to meet the needs and improve the lives of vulnerable people. It does so with impartiality as to nationality, race, gender, religious beliefs, class and political opinions. For more information, please visit You can also connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.