About the Crisis
In April 2015, a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck approximately 48 miles northwest of Nepal’s capital city of Kathmandu. The earthquake and subsequent aftershocks—including a magnitude 7.3 earthquake on May 12—resulted in nearly 9,000 deaths, damaged or destroyed more than 887,000 houses, and caused widespread damage to public infrastructure, including water systems and health facilities.
Within hours of the seismic event, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance deployed a Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART)—including urban search-and-rescue (USAR) specialists—to Nepal.
USAID provided 6,200 rolls of heavy-duty plastic sheeting for the Nepal earthquake response, which is enough to help up to 310,000 people with emergency shelter needs in advance of the monsoon season. USAID chartered 10 cargo planes over three weeks to deliver more than 300 tons of critical supplies. In addition, USAID purchased and airlifted emergency medical supplies to Nepal—including enough medication, surgical instruments, sterilization materials, gloves, and basic medical items—to help 40,000 people for three months. USAID DART urban search-and-rescue teams helped pull a 15-year-old boy out of the rubble in north Kathmandu, five days after the earthquake hit Nepal. The DART demobilized on June 9, 2015.
The DART demobilized on June 9, 2015, but USAID disaster experts remain in Nepal.
USAID remains committed to supporting earthquake recovery efforts in Nepal, including earthquake-resistant infrastructure and reconstruction, food security and livelihoods, and the protection of vulnerable populations.
More information on the U.S. government’s humanitarian response to the 2015 Nepal earthquake, including past fact sheets and maps, can be found here.
How You Can Help
- Send cash donations to reputable relief organizations working on the ground.
- Cash donations enable aid groups to purchase relief supplies close to disaster site, which ensures that commodities are fresh, culturally appropriate, and less expensive to transport.
- Cash donations can stimulate the local economy.
- Cash allows aid groups to spend more time saving lives than managing unsolicited donations.
- Detailed information on how relief organizations use cash donations can be found at: GiveWell, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and the Better Business Bureau.