As temperatures dip, Save the Children rushes with winter supplies

Thursday 31 December 2015

 

Save the Children is carrying out urgent winter distribution to 15,480 vulnerable and remote earthquake survivor households, responding to their immediate requirements. These families are being provided with much needed shelter support through either goods or cash voucher transfer over the next one month. The targeted districts are Sindhupalchowk, Dhading, Gorkha and Dolakha, the most earthquake-affected districts. 

“To earthquake survivors battling the cold and living in freezing temperatures, secure and warm shelter is the topmost priority,” said Jagat Bahadur Khadka, Save the Children Nepal Acting Country Director, “After pinpointing specific needs of earthquake affected families with the help of communities, local government authorities and partners, we have been dispatching packages to offer instant support as part of our winterization efforts,” he added.

In Lapu of Gorkha, where voucher transfer has already begun, recipients expressed satisfaction at receiving support during this critical time. “I used the vouchers to buy warm clothes for my children. They need to be kept warm – I can manage anyhow,” said Saili, a local resident from Lapu of Gorkha. Another resident, Sukla, from Kashigaun of Gorkha, said, “My major concern right now is protecting my nine-month old son from the cold, as he keeps falling sick. I will spend this money on warm clothes and a solar light.” Dhanmai from Gumba VDC of Sindhupalchowk, who received a winter kit, said, “This is exactly what I was looking for! I was in dire need of blankets and all this stuff will keep my children warm.”

In Sindhupalchowk and Gorkha districts, the most vulnerable households in six Village Development Committees (VDCs) will be receiving winter kits including clothes, bedding and utensils. In order to reach the most remote households cut off from transportation, goods were airlifted and dispatched. Meanwhile, in 13 VDCs of Sindhupalchowk, Gorkha and Dolakha, the most vulnerable households receive cash vouchers worth NRs. 13,000. They can redeem this in the nearest local market to purchase much needed goods and materials to cope with harsh winter conditions.   

As temperatures continue to dip, children are left most susceptible to illnesses resulting from the cold. To offer support to these children as well as their families in places where markets are more accessible, Save the Children devised a unique system – offering voucher transfers directly to the survivors. “This will ensure that families can exercise their choice and judgement to fulfil their most pressing needs,” said Jeff Franklin, Humanitarian Director at Save the Children, “We are also trying to promote the local economy and revive the markets which were badly affected by the earthquake.”

The team completed all distributions by 20 January, 2016, thus ensuring that especially the children and elderly are offered warmth and support in these trying times.

Photo 1: Sukla buys solar light with her cash voucher

Photo 2: Winter Kits in Gumba, Sindupalchowk

To learn more about our Winterization Program, please click here for the full report.