Donor report:Nepal: Two Years After the Earthquake
Raised: Over US$3.4 million
Spent: No financial information found
Key Activities: World Renew’s focus is rebuilding homes. This meets the highest need of people in Nepal. The 2015 Gorkha earthquake destroyed an estimated 800,000 homes, leaving 2.7 million people homeless. By April 2017, World Renew had built 81 earthquake-resistant brick homes, with construction underway on 120 homes. World Renew adapted to Nepal’s construction labour shortage by paying market wages.
One unique characteristic about Nepal’s disaster recovery: Nepal has an abundance of construction workers. Yet these workers leave for jobs in India and the Gulf States that pay higher wages. These workers send money home – 30% of Nepal’s GDP comes from foreign remittances. Charities progress reports frequently mention construction training programs. These training programs are less effective in addressing Nepal’s reconstruction as, once trained, skilled labour leaves. In the disaster-affected areas, 17% of families report a migrant member – a man, most likely - working abroad to earn money for the family. This severe workforce shortage is one factor in Nepal’s sluggish pace of recovery.[ii]
Recognizing this reality, World Renew paid foreign market wages so construction workers would stay in Nepal to help communities rebuild.This program adaption may explain why World Renew will build 201 homes relative to Habitat for Humanity's 150 homes, with the same level of funding.
Comparing Results: Homes built in Nepal
Donors should compare World Renew's results in Nepal with Habitat for Humanity and Samaritan's Purse. Without financial information found for Samaritan's Purse, World Renew, or Habitat for Humanity, donors have only pictures of homes built to compare results. From the pictures, Samaritan's Purse and World Renew look better.
Pessimists may see disaster response as hopeless, particularly in countries as politically-dysfunctional and corrupt as Nepal. The ten charities reviewed plan to build 1,100 permanent homes, which is perhaps inconsequential relative to the estimated 800,000 homes destroyed by Nepal’s earthquake. Yet charity can have a huge impact.
“If we were waiting for the government, we would still be in plastic tents... ”
Ram Bahadur Tamang, community leader of Giranchaur village
Inter Agency Common Feedback Project, “Reconstruction and Food Security and Livelihood”, p.22 August 2017
UN Development Programme, “Plugging the gaps in recovery efforts”,Sept. 7, 2017
Grace Wiebe, “Ongoing Reconstruction in Nepal”, World Renew, March 2017
More Charity Intelligence reports on Nepal Earthquake 2015 disaster response:
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