The Nepal earthquake – one year on

Monday, April 25 marks one year since an enormous earthquake devastated Nepal.

The 7.8 magnitude quake killed nearly 9,000 people and injured 22,000 more. Close to half a million homes were destroyed, affecting millions of people.

Despite challenges facing aid agencies to rebuild Nepal, World Jewish Relief’s livelihood programmes are helping Nepalis rebuild their lives and lift their families out of poverty.

In Dolakha, Lalitpur and Rasuwa provinces, World Jewish Relief is training farmers to increase their technical skills. World Jewish Relief has already supported 1,900 people through these activities, benefiting thousands.

World Jewish Relief’s entrepreneurship training helps farmers decide how much to invest in their crops and what returns they hope to make. By facilitating better links to markets for their crops, farmers return a larger profit. Profits are invested in educational opportunities for their children and better healthcare.

Shushma building a tunnel to protect her tomatoes from the monsoon(Above: Shushma building a tunnel to protect her tomatoes from the monsoon)

World Jewish Relief will be working in Nepal until 2018 during the recovery phase. Michael Rosenkrantz, World Jewish Relief’s Programme Manager in Nepal, is working with local partners to build capacity among local staff and make them more sustainable.

One of the people World Jewish Relief helped get back on his feet is thirty year old, Shyam Shrestha. He said: “The earthquake left my house in total ruins. It looked like a bomb had gone off. My family and I had nowhere to live and we were left with nothing. World Jewish Relief provided me and my family with food and tents. I know that their support was critical to my family’s survival and I can’t thank the British Jewish community enough for their kindness. You saved my life.”

Michael Rosenkrantz, World Jewish Relief’s Programme Manager in Nepal, said: “The Shrestha family’s story is sadly one that I meet all too often. Buildings – even strong ones – were reduced to rubble. It was nobody’s fault and there was nothing anyone could do. The resilience of the people here is extraordinary and so too is their gratitude. Everyone I meet is so grateful to the British Jewish community for their extraordinary support. You have transformed thousands of lives and will continue to make a difference for many years to come.”

Paul Anticoni, World Jewish Relief’s chief executive, said: “The world has seen much upheaval in the past twelve months. The refugee crisis has dominated headlines and World Jewish Relief is still operating in challenging conditions in Ukraine. But I am proud of the ongoing commitment my team has made to the people of Nepal. We are there for the long-haul and the Nepali people know the Jewish community here hasn’t forgotten them.

“The first anniversary of the earthquake will be one filled with sadness for the lives lost, our community can be proud of the difference they are making through the dedication of World Jewish Relief’s staff and partners.”

Shyam Shrestha in front of his home destroyed by the earthquake(Above: Shyam Shrestha in front of his home)

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