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Nepal: preparing for earthquakes

In April and May 2015, Nepal was struck by two huge earthquakes. The impact was equally huge: nearly 9,000 people were killed and almost 18,000 were injured. Close to a million houses were destroyed or damaged.  

Overall, the quakes affected 5.6 million people – 20 per cent of the population. Most of the damage was in or near Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital.

From the moment the first earthquake hit, the Red Cross began supporting thousands of people. 

Over 8,000 staff and volunteers from the Nepal Red Cross Society carried out evacuations, first aid, and search and rescue operations. Teams also provided relief items and psychological and emotional support to people caught up in the crisis.

Support continued through cash grants to over 50,000 families who lost their homes or businesses.  They could then spend the money on whatever they needed most – new shelters, blankets, clothes or tools, for instance.

This co-ordinated response was possible, in part, because the Red Cross has run a programme since 2012 to help people prepare better for disasters. Working in 66 communities, we:

  • helped people learn how to identify local hazards and risks 
  • trained emergency responders in first aid, and search and rescued
  • developed community disaster plans.  

As Nepal is one of the world’s countries most vulnerable to earthquakes and floods, the Red Cross continues to prepare for future emergencies.  This work is supported through a £4.4 million grant from the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID).

Find out how we're helping.

How we're helping in Nepal

People surrounded by rubble

Find out how the Red Cross helped people before, during and after the powerful earthquakes.

Read more >

Nepal: cash grants for thousands of families

A man and woman receive a cash grant from a Red Cross worker in Nepal

After the earthquakes, Red Cross grants helped families buy what they needed to keep warm and safe.

Read more >

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