This weekend Nepal was hit by a devastating earthquake. Helvetas has initiated relief operations in the affected region of Jajarkot. The Swiss development cooperation and humanitarian aid organization is distributing mattresses, tarpaulins, food and water filters.
Nepal has experienced the most severe earthquake since the 2015 earthquake of the century struck the country. It occurred the evening of November 4; aftershocks are expected over the next few days. The northwest of the country is affected, especially the regions of Jajarkot and Rukum.
While local aid workers are still searching for survivors in the villages, Helvetas and its European partners from Alliance2015 are sending the first relief supplies. The Jajarkot region was devastated by the earthquake; 80 percent of the houses have been partially or completely damaged. People who have lost their homes are receiving mattresses and tarpaulins. Helvetas is also distributing water filters, food and hygiene materials. Relief supplies that were stored by a local partner organization for possible disasters are also being used.
Poorest areas of Nepal affected - help is urgently needed
Helvetas has been active in development cooperation in Nepal for almost seventy years. The NGO has more than 200 local employees and is well networked with local authorities and partner organizations, and can therefore act quickly.
The biggest challenge at the moment is access to the affected villages, since many roads and paths have been destroyed. Not all those in need can be reached yet.
"The affected regions are among the poorest areas of Nepal. Winter is coming soon and it is already very cold at higher altitudes. The people will urgently need more help to get through the winter," says Prabin Manandhar, Country Director of Helvetas in Nepal.
The current relief operation in Nepal is being carried out together with the German organization Welthungerhilfe and the Czech NGO People in Need. They are part of the European Alliance2015 network.