Donor report:Nepal: Two Years After the Earthquake

Raised: Over US$3.4 million

Spent: No financial information found

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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.

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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 

Additional Sources:

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

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More Charity Intelligence reports on Nepal Earthquake 2015 disaster response:

Summary assessment of Nepal disaster response by 10 charities Canadians supported

Charity Intelligence's full report on Nepal Earthquake - 3 Years Later Assessment of How Giving Helped

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About Charity Intelligence: Charity Intelligence’s mission is to help Canadian donors be informed and give intelligently. We do this through objective and independent research on Canadian charities.

Charity Intelligence’s total costs to report and evaluate Nepal’s earthquake disaster response since April 2015 are $11,900. This is entirely funded by Canadian donors. If you found this evaluation useful, please share it with your friends and join us on Facebook and Twitter @CharityIntel

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Charity Intelligence researches Canadian charities for donors to be informed and give intelligently. Charity Intelligence’s website posts free reports on more than 700 Canadian charities, as well as in-depth primers on philanthropic sectors like Canada’s environment, cancer, and homelessness. Today over 325,000 Canadians use Charity Intelligence’s website as a go-to source for information on Canadian charities reading over 1.3 million charity reports. Through rigorous and independent research, Charity Intelligence aims to assist Canada’s dynamic charitable sector in being more transparent, accountable and focused on results.

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