It has been five years since the devastating Gorkha earthquake brought Nepal to a standstill. Nearly 9,000 people died, more than 800,000 people lost their homes and over 2.8 million were displaced. While the Nepali citizens are still recovering from the after-effects of the earthquake, another disaster in the shape of a global health crisis is looming upon them.
Marking the 5th anniversary of the Gorkha earthquake of April 25, 2015, the Red Cross Movement (including the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Red Cross and Red Crescent National Societies working in Nepal and Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS)) released a joint statement and reiterated its commitment to cater to the needs of the Nepali citizens affected by war, conflict or disaster more effectively.
In the statement, the Red Cross Movement stated that it launched an integrated programme supporting the communities in various sectors of water, shelter, sanitation, health, and hygiene, and their livelihoods. With the help of the Movement partners, the programme was implemented for four years in various municipalities of the 14 most-hit districts of the country. The Red Cross further stated that it has reached more than 3.5 million people with relief measures in the past five years. It has supported thousands of families with private houses, safe drinking water, and cash grants to strengthen their livelihood in the time of crisis. With the help of NRCS’ organizational capacity development activities, one hospital and 42 health posts have been constructed across the country along with other infrastructures.
At present, NRCS has also mobilized its nation-wide units and volunteers to support the government as the Himalayan nation battles the COVID-19 disease. The Movement has reached 222,000 with support facilities amid the fight against the pandemic. The Red Cross is working to restore family links and providing help with prisons and quarantine sites.
The Movement has also drafted an integrated NRCS COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan with the motive to support people at the local level in the time of crisis.Currently, Nepal has 38 active Coronavirus cases, with 10 people recovered from the deadly disease.
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