Caritas moves mountains in Nepal to help over 300,000 people

23 Jul 2015   |   Media release   |   Nepal   |   Emergency Relief

Woman carrying emergency supplies after the Nepal earthquake



It is the extraordinary generosity of our Catholic community in Australia, and the world over, who ensure we work in solidarity and honour the dignity of Nepal’s most vulnerable people long after the news has moved on."
Melville Fernandez, Humanitarian Emergencies Manager

Three months after Nepal was devastated by one of the largest earthquakes to hit the country, Caritas Australia thanks and acknowledges the extraordinary support of the Catholic community in supporting the Catholic Church’s emergency relief efforts in some of the hardest hit and most remote areas of the country.

Fr Pius Perumana, the Executive Director of Caritas Nepal, said “in our time of need, our global Catholic family listened, prayed and responded in solidarity. With the generosity of Catholic schools, parishes and supporters across the globe, the Caritas network helped us overcome the most challenging situations and reach the most marginalised and affected women, men and children.

"Our Caritas humanitarian team has used helicopters, pulley systems and cable cars, swing bridges, porters, and sheer determination to help deliver life-saving aid.

"Caritas Nepal and local communities have even moved mountains to reach people in need - literally. The drivers of our Caritas trucks have shifted rocks and rubble from hillsides in Sindhupalchowk, one of the worst hit areas, to clear the roads.

"The dedication of our aid workers has ensured that, despite the many challenges caused by landslides and bad weather, aid has reached the communities where it’s needed most."

The Caritas network, the second largest humanitarian network in the world, has reached more than 300,000 people with humanitarian assistance, including emergency shelter materials, water, and hygiene kits containing aquatabs, soap, washing detergent, toothbrushes and toothpaste.

Caritas Australia’s Humanitarian Emergencies Manager, Melville Fernandez, says from on the ground in Nepal: "We have so much to celebrate as an agency and community, but we are not yet through the hardest part. We are still racing to reach some of the country’s most remote communities with life-saving aid before the monsoon rains intensify.

"We are now prioritising the distribution of corrugated iron sheeting so that families have as much protection as possible against the monsoon rains.

"The rains are desperately needed to ensure full growth of the crops that Nepali families are relying on for food and income, yet we know the downpours will bring further landslides, mud and damage to many who are still recovering.

"As we mark the three month anniversary, we are already planning for the longer term. After the emergency phase we will support people to revive their means of earning a living, build back better and restore their own communities so they can withstand future disasters.

"It is the extraordinary generosity of our Catholic community in Australia, and the world over, who ensure we work in solidarity and honour the dignity of Nepal’s most vulnerable people long after the news has moved on," said Mr Fernandez.

Father Perumana, said: "It’s not easy to hold onto hope when all around you there is destruction, but the Nepali people have been very resilient, and they have shown the spirit of cooperation and compassion between neighbours.

"It’s these expressions of charity that bring renewed hope to shattered lives."

Find out more about Caritas’s emergency work in Nepal


For on the ground interviews contact media advisor Nicole Clements on 0408 869 833 or nicolec@caritas.org.au


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