In Nepal, Swiss Solidarity along with eleven partner NGOs has been able to support more than 1.3 million people directly and indirectly, with aid worth approximately CHF 28.8 million. Five years after the devastating earthquake occurred, an independent evaluation confirms that this aid has met the needs of the affected population. An evaluation survey shows that support from Switzerland has brought about a lasting improvement in the respondents’ lives.
In February 2020, Swiss Solidarity commissioned an impact analysis from the company Scott Wilson Nepal. This study had two principal aims: to ascertain how relevant, effective and sustainable aid recipients considered the help they had received to be, and to find out how the local authorities and those responsible had experienced cooperation with the Swiss Solidarity partner NGOs. The evaluation focused on two communities in the Sindhupalchok district (population approx. 70,000), to whom three of Swiss Solidarity’s partner NGOs – Helvetas, Solidar Suisse and Caritas Switzerland – provided assistance, among other things in the reconstruction of homes and schools, and in the form of direct financial support.
A representative survey carried out among 1,500 inhabitants showed that a large majority believed that the aid received from Swiss Solidarity and its partners had hugely improved their lives economically and socially. 76% said that they were happy with the way in which their houses had been reconstructed and with the sanitary facilities. 97% expressed satisfaction with the way their houses had been reconstructed to be earthquake-proof. Among the schoolchildren, a full 99% said they were happy with their new schoolhouse.
“We are delighted with the positive results, of this survey,” explains Roland Thomann, Swiss Solidarity director. “They confirm to us and our partner NGOs that the support we provide is efficient, needs-oriented and sustainable.”
In addition to the reconstruction aid, financial support was provided in both communities. 83% of those questioned stated that the families who actually needed it most received payments. “Providing direct economic support was admittedly a difficult process. The people who urgently needed the help were sometimes difficult to reach. It therefore took up a corresponding amount of time and resources,” reflects Ernst Lüber, head of Swiss Solidarity’s project department. “Yet despite these difficulties, the fact that most respondents described the payments as fair shows us that we did everything right.”
The local authorities and those responsible for schools and water supply facilities also have words of praise for the way cooperation with the Swiss organizations worked. The survey shows that they were involved throughout the entire project phase. The interest groups were able to work closely with Swiss Solidarity’s three partner NGOs and benefited, among other things, from the technical know-how of the aid workers.
Of the more than CHF 32.5 million raised by Swiss Solidarity after the 2015 earthquake, around a quarter was used to provide emergency aid directly following the disaster: medical care, distribution of basic goods (water, food, blankets, shelter, hygiene kits), cash aid and psychological support for traumatized children. Investments were also made in the training of bricklayers and carpenters and in the protection and support of disabled people in the aftermath of the earthquake.
To date, 3,246 homes and 61 primary and secondary schools have been rebuilt to be earthquake-proof with the money raised. Eight health centres, 57 drinking water supplies and 42 irrigation systems have also been constructed. A total of CHF 28.8 million has been spent so far. The remaining donations will be used for disaster preparedness in Nepal. The money will be made available to partner NGOs helping local organizations and authorities to ensure that the country is better prepared in the event of another natural disaster.
The earthquake on 25 April 2015, followed by strong aftershocks up to 12 May, claimed over 9,000 lives and injured around 22,000 people. 600,000 houses and thousands of schools and health centres were destroyed by the quakes. A total of eight million Nepalese, more than a quarter of the country’s population, were affected by the natural disaster, and some are still suffering today.
Swiss Solidarity supported the work of eleven partner NGOs and eight further organizations: ADRA, Organisation for the Swiss Abroad (OSA), Caritas Switzerland, CBM Christoffel Blindenmission, Handicap International, Helvetas, Kam For Sud, Lepra-Mission Switzerland, Association Lukla-Chaurikharka, Medair, Norlha, Architectes de l’urgence, Swiss Red Cross, Save the Children Switzerland, Shanti Med Nepal, Association Singla-Nepal, Solidar Suisse, Swisscontact, Terre des hommes – helping children worldwide
Contacts of partner NGOs in the survey:
Caritas Schweiz: Stefan Gribi, Head of Communication, +41 44 419 22 37
Helvetas, Katrin Hafner, Media spokesperson, +41 44 368 67 79
Solidar Suisse, Lukas Frohofer, Head of projects in Nepal, +41 76 433 23 29