Press release

UK to double donations to new appeal, Justine Greening announces on anniversary of Nepal earthquakes

Government to match public donations to Handicap International’s ‘Every Step Counts’ appeal until 18 July.

8-year-old Nirmala lost her leg in the earthquake which struck Nepal on 25 April 2015, but is now walking again thanks to support from Handicap International & UK aid. Picture: Lucas Veuve/Handicap International
8-year-old Nirmala lost her leg in the earthquake which struck Nepal on 25 April 2015, but she's now walking again thanks to support from Handicap International and UK aid. Picture: Lucas Veuve/Handicap International

On the first anniversary of the Nepal earthquakes, International Development Secretary Justine Greening has announced that the UK will match public donations to a new appeal to help thousands of people living with disabilities to access rehabilitation services and get back into education and jobs.

The earthquakes left many injured or disabled and put enormous pressure on health services, with large numbers of facilities left destroyed or damaged. From now until 18 July 2016, the UK government will match public donations to Handicap International’s ‘Every Step Counts’ appeal, pound for pound.

The new pledge comes on top of the £70 million that the UK has already provided in response to the earthquakes, which killed over 9,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless.

Announcing the UK aid match support, International Development Secretary Justine Greening said:

I saw for myself how devastating last year’s earthquakes in Nepal were and our long standing 200-year old friendship showed through in the UK public’s hugely generous response.

It meant we were able to quickly reach the Nepali people with essential supplies, making sure the most vulnerable were protected throughout the following freezing winter.

One year on, we continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the people of Nepal as they repair and rebuild.

Natural disasters and war are terrible experiences for anyone to live through and then get their lives back on track. But for those disabled by injury or disease it can be so much more difficult.

By doubling donations to Handicap International’s ‘Every Step Counts’ appeal, we will reach thousands of people living with disabilities in Nepal and the Democratic Republic of Congo with rehabilitation support and jobs training.

This means people will have the chance to become active members of their community again and help create a better future for their country.

The UK’s earthquake response

The UK was at the forefront of the international response to the earthquakes, and has since played a leading role in addressing the humanitarian needs of the Nepali people and supporting the long-term recovery and reconstruction efforts of the country.

In the immediate aftermath of the first earthquake, the UK’s preparedness work in Nepal meant that UK aid was reaching hard-hit communities within a few hours. In first few days alone, pre-positioned emergency shelter had reached around 10,000 families.

UK aid support over the past year includes:

  • reaching over 250,000 people with shelter
  • providing 50,000 people with hygiene kits and sanitation support
  • supporting 30,000 people with essential household items, including kitchen sets, solar lamps and water purification tablets
  • protecting over 200,000 people living at high altitudes were reached with vital cold weather supplies, including clothes, blankets and mattresses, to help them survive the freezing conditions
  • ensuring 15,000 women and girls received dignity kits to help them maintain sanitation and hygiene whilst living without the privacy of a home
  • reaching over 110,000 women and children with support and advice through specially designed female friendly spaces
  • helping protect over 500 vulnerable women and children from being trafficked
  • clearing more than 23,000 cubic metres of rubble from 238 unsafe public building and structures, allowing for communities to start rebuilding
  • providing support to 36 temporary displacement camps and improving infrastructure, drainage and road access in 19 camps
Supporting longer term recovery

The UK is continuing to support Nepal’s recovery efforts. This includes supporting rubble clearance and the restoration of vital infrastructure such as health services and police stations, and by helping vulnerable groups, including women and girls, rebuild their lives and livelihoods.

The UK is one of Nepal’s largest bilateral development partners. Over the last 2 years DFID has provided more than £170 million of development assistance to help reduce poverty and promote economic development in Nepal.

ENDS

Notes to editors

  1. Handicap International’s project will strengthen rehabilitation services for vulnerable communities in the DRC and Nepal
  2. You can find out more about Handicap International here
  3. The UK Aid Match scheme, run by the Department for International Development, sees the government match public donations to charity appeals to reduce poverty in developing countries. The aim of the scheme is to give the public the opportunity to boost funding to the charities that work on the international development issues they both care about and generously support.
  4. Everything the UK public raises or donates during each 3 month appeal is doubled by the government, up to a maximum of £5 million.
  5. Follow us on Twitter - @DFID_UK

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Published 25 April 2016