Rapid mobilization of UN Volunteers
Many of the activities developed were conducted with families affected by the earthquake, particularly women and their daughters and sons - in training opportunities for the prevention of gender-based violence, helping women and their families identify common patterns of violence, as well the protection routes that they could resort to.
Following the earthquake, the situation of women and girls was of special concern because they are more likely to become victims of violence and discrimination in a humanitarian emergency. Displacement, over-crowed camps, lack of privacy and lighting, limited and unsegregated wash facilities increase the risks.
Pedernales, Ecuador: Since April 2015, I worked as a UN Volunteer Public Policy Specialist in the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN) country office in Quito. However, one day my responsibilities shifted in a totally unexpected way.
During a recent visit to Nepal, UNV Deputy Executive Coordinator, Rosemary Kalapurakal, accompanied by UNDP Country Director, Renaud Meyer, visited the quake-affected cities of Irkhu and Chautara in the district of Sindhupalchowk. There they witnessed first-hand national UN Volunteers in action, managing earthquake debris and the demolition of dangerous structures under a UNDP project. This initiative is a successful collaboration amongst UNDP, the Government of Nepal and UNV.
Katmandu, Nepal: My name is Manash Gadtaula and I am a national UN Volunteer in Nepal. I serve as a civil engineer in a team of eight for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) building demolitions project, as a support for the Village Development Committee. Demolition of houses can sound counter-intuitive but it is actually necessary in order to prevent further loss of lives during the aftershocks.
Katmandu, Nepal: My name is Hotrika Joshi and I am a national UN Volunteer Civil Engineer in Nepal. I am part of a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) demolition project which, has handled the damage assessment of 250 households, benefitting approximately 1,500 people.
In the Irkhu Village Development Committee area, a thousand more buildings need to be assessed and potentially torn down within the very first weeks, before the monsoon arrives.
The April 2015 Nepal 7.8 magnitude earthquake, also known as the Gorkha Earthquake, killed more than 8,800 people and injured more than 23,000.
On 25 April, a massive 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal. This natural disaster, the worst in 80 years for the country, has not only taken lives but caused life-threatening living situations for hundreds of thousands of people in Nepal, Bangladesh and India.
UNV has established a Nepal Earthquake Taskforce to coordinate the most effective and needed support on the ground. Its first priority was to secure the wellbeing of UN Volunteers in Nepal.