Disable all preview features

Nepal Earthquake Anniversary: One Year Later

Relief, Recovery, and Rebuilding

April 21, 2016


Catholic Relief Services

How much money has your charity raised for its Nepal Relief efforts?


Catholic Relief Services is still accepting donations for this event. You can donate directly from our site:

How have you spent the donations you have received so far?

As of March 2016, CRS and its local partner, Caritas Nepal, had assisted 171,620 people. Specifically, we have provided:

  • Emergency and transitional shelter to 22,915 families
  • Water, sanitation and hygiene kits to 10,604 families, schools and health posts
  • Support to 404 vendors to recover their livelihoods with the clearing of their destroyed shops and temporary shelter kits to resume business
  • Cash grants to 16,774 families to buy shelter supplies
  • Winter kits for 7,180 families
  • Training of 142 masons on earthquake-resistant shelter reconstruction techniques to support rebuilding in their communities

What are your charity's plans to spend the money you have received, in the future?

We are helping communities lay a foundation for full recovery, with an emphasis on safe shelter and livelihoods resilience. Specific details are below:

  • Safe Shelter: CRS will assist families in the construction of adequate, durable, and safe earthquake-resistant housing, and in line with government reconstruction policy. Our technical support to ensure earthquake-resistant shelters will include improvements to the foundations, seismic banding installation, framed roofing, and latrines. Provisions of shelter supplies will include stoves, fuel, insulation materials, blankets, and training in winterization techniques for temporary structures.
  • To carry out these shelter activities, CRS and Caritas Nepal will provide technical support, skills training, financial and material support, and home reconstruction training curricula. To meet the high demand for labor during the reconstruction phase, we will provide trainings to unskilled and skilled labor. CRS trainings will focus on improved techniques through village-level demonstration models that showcase appropriate types of construction methods. CRS has partnerships with local training institutes (Gorkha Technical Training Center and Centre of Resilient Development), and will align activities with relevant policy and guideline agencies (e.g. District Disaster Relief Committee, Council for Technical Education and Vocational Training, and National Society for Earthquake Technology). Our programs will increase awareness on earthquake-resistant techniques among families at the demonstration sites and through information campaigns (visual materials, radio shows, and community-level promotion).
  • Livelihoods Resilience: CRS will help families and communities restore their assets and diversify livelihood activities, leading to their strengthened resilience. At the household level, CRS and Caritas Nepal will identify families that suffered significant loss of productive livelihood assets, and work with them on a range of activities to diversify livelihoods and income-generating options, increase agriculture yields, and reduce their seed loss. CRS plans to strengthen existing community-based savings groups by organizing workshops for affected families focused on financial planning and saving strategies in order to prepare to meet reconstruction needs. Complementing household support, we will also support the community to restore collective assets. Collective assets may include irrigation and drinking water systems, roads, marketplaces, grain mills, and storage facilities. Cash-for-Work activities are a potential solution that will restore assets, and give families essential cash that can be put toward their household reconstruction and basic household needs.

How did your charity come up with its plan for response in Nepal? And how long did that process take?

Following the first phase of earthquake response, CRS and Caritas Nepal conducted a needs assessment to inform the design of its longer-term recovery and reconstruction phase of the emergency response. The assessment analyzed families’ coping mechanisms such as how they plan to pay for shelter repair and reconstruction; where they will source the labor and materials; and how they will complete the reconstruction process under existing constraints and seasonal timeframes. CRS and Caritas Nepal sought to understand the community’s market access in greater detail, along with the longer-term impacts of the earthquake on livelihoods and well-being by asking about the loss of productive assets; the ability to start or resume livelihood activities; the ability to maintain an appropriate level of health, hygiene and sanitation; and coping strategies.

Have there been any specific programs, initiatives or services that you have provided towards your relief efforts in Nepal?

Protection Mainstreaming:

CRS and Caritas Nepal’s response in Nepal is guided by the CRS Protection Mainstreaming Framework, which prioritizes the safety, dignity and access of all groups in need of assistance.

CRS will seek to assist the most vulnerable and integrate excluded groups. Vulnerable groups include:

  • child female
  • elderly-headed households
  • people with disabilities
  • certain ethnic groups (e.g. the Kumal and Chepang)

CRS and Caritas Nepal will ensure adequate involvement and representation of vulnerable groups (e.g. construction technique demonstrations for accessibility of the elderly and people with disabilities). CRS and Caritas Nepal will utilize accountability mechanisms including the posting of beneficiary lists and program target criteria in public areas prior to interventions. Information is also provided to target communities on issues of safety and other services via radio, posters, face-to-face meetings, and mobilization activities led by trained sta and volunteers. For example, CRS and Caritas Nepal will provide information to raise awareness among community members about the risks of post-disaster human trafficking and how to prevent it. The use of contact hotlines for feedback, complaints or questions allows for critical two-way information flow to/from communities.

Environmental Protection: Given the relatively high cost of reconstruction, and the likelihood that market rates for construction materials and labor will increase, CRS and Caritas Nepal conducted a supply chain mapping and environmental impact assessment for the different types of construction materials. It is anticipated that most materials will be locally sourced—in particular stone, mud, bamboo and timber. Although traditionally non-sustainable timber has been harvested for most homes, CRS and Caritas Nepal are exploring the sourcing of alternative options such as bamboo, sustainable timber, and other material for the primary structure.

To mitigate the negative impact of material sourcing in community micro-watersheds and to reduce erosion, the need for community-based resource management activities will be explored. Activities might include:

  • Watershed mapping
  • Identifying damage caused by the earthquake
  • Unsustainable management practices
  • Pinpointing high-risk erosion areas.

Based on the mapping results, Caritas Nepal and CRS will work with communities to develop natural resource management plans (such as check dams, stone bunds, Vetiver grass, and water absorption trenches) that aim to reduce erosion; provide technical support and training on mitigation techniques; and provide cash-for-work support to implement mitigation measures. If demand severely outstrips local, sustainable solutions, the importation of construction materials may be considered.

What do you believe is the most immediate necessity for the people of Nepal? Do you feel as though there has been significant enough progress in regards to such?

For CRS, more housing shelters and support for livelihoods recovery are the biggest need going forward. Shelter includes building skills of local masons/others to expand capacity and the uptake of resilient building practices even beyond our current target group.

Has your charity engaged in any joint collaborations with other charities or organizations with respect to your work in Nepal?

We are active participants in the Clusters and work closely with local government authorities to ensure that all our programming is in line with their strategies. CRS provides technical leadership to the shelter cluster. However, the most important input comes from engagement with affected communities.

Overall, what do you think have been the greatest successes of the philanthropic response to the Nepal earthquake?

Some of the greatest successes in the response so far are related to the close collaboration at all levels—from grassroots engagement at the village level to the collaboration with the national government and the international community.

CRS is a leader in practices that give disaster-affected communities greater control over decisions that have a direct impact on their lives. We focus on the poorest and most vulnerable, including women, so that they have a voice in community and household decision-making.

Another success has been finding ways to reach isolated areas despite the tremendous challenges that the topography and climate (monsoons, landslides) provided—from the use of tractors, trekkers, helicopters and donkeys—to reach people with vital communications and supplies.

What else would you like donors to be aware of regarding your organization's efforts in Nepal?

In carrying out our emergency efforts, CRS takes a comprehensive approach that addresses urgent lifesaving assistance with an eye toward a full recovery. Our goal is to help people survive with dignity, get back on their feet, rebuild their homes and lives, and strengthen their long-term stability and resilience.

CRS has worked in Nepal for many years before the 2015 earthquake. We work closely and in hand with local communities, our local Catholic partner, the government, and international agencies.

CRS will continue to tailor our emergency response to local contexts and needs, always following the community’s lead for their meaningful engagement and ownership of programs.

Charity Responses

CharityTotal Cash Raised CharityTotal Cash Raised
All Hands Volunteers
four stars


four stars


three stars


  Catholic Relief Services
four stars


Children's Hunger Fund
three stars


  Church World Service
three stars


Concern Worldwide US
four stars


  Convoy of Hope
four stars


Direct Relief
four stars


  Giving Children Hope
four stars


Global Links
three stars


four stars


Handicap International US
three stars


  Helen Keller International
four stars


Helping Hand for Relief and Development
four stars


  International Relief Teams
four stars


Islamic Relief USA
four stars


  Lutheran World Relief
four stars


Matthew 25: Ministries
four stars


  Mercy Corps
three stars


Operation Blessing International
three stars


  Operation USA
four stars


Oxfam America
three stars


  Plan International USA
four stars


Project C.U.R.E.
four stars


  Samaritan's Purse
four stars


Save the Children
three stars


  Seva Foundation
three stars


SIGN Fracture Care International
four stars


  SOS Children's Villages-USA
three stars


United States Fund for UNICEF
three stars


  VisionTrust International
four stars


Water Mission
four stars


  WaterAid America
four stars


World Education
three stars



Did You Know We’re a Charity Too?

Charity Navigator has a wonderful community of nearly 7 million givers. Together we’ve been able to:

  • Continually provide new and updated charity ratings
  • Increase charity transparency and awareness
  • Support the long-term missions of charities through our encouragement of informed giving

Whether you’re a first-time giver or a long-time user, we love having you in our community. Your gift of any size is appreciated!

Join Our Mailing List

Join over 400,000 other informed givers and get updates on charity ratings, new features, hot topics, and tips for donating.

Help Center