CERF provides $1.6 million for shelter and temporary schooling for earthquake-affected populations in Bhutan
5 October 2011: The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has provided US$1,605,535 in life-saving funds for earthquake-affected populations in Bhutan.
More than 8,000 households have been affected by the earthquake, with the total collapse or major damage reported to 845 houses, 110 schools, 36 hospitals and health units and religious structures. An estimated 40,035 people have been directly affected with 4,225 persons displaced from their homes since the 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck on 18 September 2011.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) received $856,000 of CERF funds which will ensure that 5,000 affected households, approximately 25,000 individuals, practice good hygiene, have access to safe drinking water and storage and provide for school tents and family kits. School tents are required to avoid long-term interruption of education services. The family kit includes a pot and pan, a jerry can, a jug and soap, three blankets and four plates, spoons and mugs. The kits will ensure hygiene, safe drinking water and storage and blankets in preparation for the approaching cold weather conditions.
UNICEF activities will also ensure the continuity of education for 45,000 affected school children through the provision of safe learning spaces. In addition, UNICEF support will provide temporary living space for 500 child monks and nuns to enable them to continue their education, sustain healthy and hygienic lifestyles and protect them from adverse weather conditions.
For shelter, the provision of corrugated galvanized iron (CGI) sheets have proven to be the most appropriate and cost-effective means for building transitional shelter as well as meeting the needs of subsequent early recovery and reconstruction. UNICEF received a further $749,000 to provide more than 46,000 CGI-sheets to an estimated 3,350 persons and to facilitate joint field monitoring and needs assessments by the UN system and the Government.
Those displaced from their homes due to the earthquake live in the open under plastic or tarpaulin sheets procured locally and distributed by local authorities. In addition, a number of aftershocks after the main earthquake continue to alarmed local communities hindering their return to partially damaged homes and community infrastructure. Cold weather conditions in the mountainous high-altitude climate and the approach of winter add to the urgency for assistance.