Message from Nepal Humanitarian Coordinator Jamie Mc Goldrick
On April 25, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake erupted approximately 85 miles (137 km) east of Nepal's capital, Kathmandu, killing more than 8,000 people and destroying half a million homes nationwide. Three weeks later the country was struck again by a 7.3-magnitude tremor near Mount Everest that killed more than 100 people and triggered fresh landslides. Photo: Palani Mohan / IFRC
In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, urban search and rescue teams (USAR) were on the ground looking for survivors. USAR teams consist of highly skilled military personnel who assist during major disasters. Here the Canadian Army and Nepalese Army are searching through the rubble in Shanku, a village on the outskirts of Kathmandu Valley. Photo: Sachindra Rajbansi /Nepal Photo Project
Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless with entire villages flattened,across many districts of the country. Centuries-old buildings were destroyed at UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley. In Bhaktapur village, 7 miles (12 km) from the capital city Kathmandu, families dig through piles of rubble, trying to recover whatever they can from the ruins of their homes. Photo: Juliette Rousselot/IRIN
A Nepalese military helicopter delivers relief supplies to Ladhu village in Sindhulpalchok district. Many of the mountain villages hit by the earthquake take days to access by road, making helicopters indispensable. Photo: OCHA/Markus Werne
When his home in Sindhulpalchok district started shaking from the force of the earthquake, 12-year-old Tara’s grandfather told him to run for his life, and that’s just what he did. His head and leg are swathed in bandages protecting wounds he suffered from falling debris. Tara received care from the a mobile hospital set up in the district capital, Chautara, by the Norwegian Red Cross in partnership with Nepal’s Ministry of Health and Population and the World Health Organization (WHO). Photo: Paul Garwood /World Health Organization
Many patients had to flee clinics and hospitals when the second earthquake hit on 12 May. WHO is providing treatment tents for five hospitals in Kathmandu and the districts of Lalitpur and Kavre, as requested by the Ministry of Health. WHO has provided emergency health kits, containing items like IV fluids, head bandages and oral rehydration salts, to cover the needs of 160,000 people for three months. Photo: A. Khan / World Health Organization
The World Food Programme (WFP) has been providing food items, such as rice and high-energy biscuits to those in need. WFP aims to reach 1.9 million people with food assistance before the start of the seasonal monsoon rains. The window of opportunity to deliver life-saving food, shelter and medical supplies is closing rapidly for people living in the mountains with no road access. Photo: World Food Programme
According to UNICEF, in the areas worst-affected by the earthquakes, 12 babies are born every hour with no access to basic healthcare, following massive damage to already basic maternity facilities. Photo: UNICEF
A woman eats a high-energy biscuit provided by WFP. The biscuits are fortified in vitamins and minerals, easy to distribute and can be a quick solution to improving nutrition, particularly when there is little access to cooking facilities. Photo: World Food Programme
The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos and the European Union’s Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, visited the Urban Search and Rescue operations base in Kathmandu earlier this month. Photo: OCHA
Two months after Tropical Cyclone Pam struck Vanuatu on 13 March affecting 188,000 people in six provinces, and devastating homes and livelihoods, humanitarian efforts continue while the wider response gradually shifts to reconstruction and recovery. Credit: UNICEF Pacific.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) supported the Government of Vanuatu to coordinate the response, to ensure people were reached quickly with the assistance they needed. OCHA also helped secure and track funds and gather and share data on the emergency to support swift decision-making.
Photo: NZRC/Hanna Butler
Extensive damage to crops left families that rely on subsistence farming in urgent need of food assistance. The World Food Programme (WFP) and humanitarian partners supported Government distributions, supplementing food packages with rice and high-energy biscuits. Credit: WFP/Victoria Cavanagh.
Natural disasters affect people differently based on their age, gender, disability and many other factors. Humanitarian partners supported the Ministry of Justice to provide women with information about their emergency response entitlements as well as available opportunities to participate in recovery efforts. Credit: OCHA/Karina Coates
Teachers at seven-year-old Daniel's schoolon Efate island organized an event to encourage families to return their children to classes. The Government and humanitarian partners distributed books and equipment, provided safe drinking water at schools and food for boarders. Credit: UNICEF Pacific/Vlad Sokhin.
Twenty-six-year-old Fred’s kava root, coconut trees and vegetable crops were destroyed by the cyclone, as were more than 70 per cent of crops in affected areas. The Ministry of Agriculture and humanitarian partners distributed seedlings to help families replant. Over coming months the Government will support the agriculture, fisheries, livestock, forestry and biosecurity sectors.
Credit: OCHA/Karina Coates
Cyclone Pam destroyed or contaminated water sources and damaged sanitation facilities. Humanitarian partners provided safe drinking water and helped restore water infrastructure. Credit: OxfamAUS/Amy Christian
International militaries were instrumental to overcoming the enormous logistical challenges in reaching the affected population. They took aerial photographs, distributed relief and undertook needs assessments across dozens of islands. Credit: OCHA/Karina Coates
Cyclone Pam damaged or destroyed 18,000 houses. International organizations supported the Government to provide shelter kits, tools, tarpaulins and blankets. Some 67,500 people received tarpaulins and 55,000 received tools kits to rebuild their homes. Credit: UNICEF Pacific
UNICEF and the World Health Organization assisted the Government to vaccinate more than 24,300 children aged six months to five years against measles, in Shefa, Sanma and Tafea provinces. The children also received Vitamin A and deworming medicine, while children in Tanna island and Sanma Province received the rubella vaccine. Credit: UNICEF Pacific/Sevenier
Cyclone Pam wiped out mobile networks leaving tens of thousands of people unable to connect with loved ones. Paama island resident Mark spoke to his uncle overseas through the Red Cross Restoring Family Links programme, which reconnects families after an emergency. Credit: IFRC/Madeline Wilson
Becky and her two-month-old son Sammy slept at a church on Efate island during and after the cyclone. IOM partnered with the Government and humanitarian actors to reach people in evacuation centres with immediate assistance and to distribute repair kits for their damaged homes. Credit: IOM/Joe Lowry
UN Women joined with local and provincial authorities to help re-open the Marobe Market House in Port Vila. Almost three weeks after the cyclone, market vendors, the majority of whom are women, were able to start selling root crops and handicrafts once again. Credit: UN Women/Ellie van Baaren
Cash-for-work participant Taroa, who lost his home during the cyclone, supports his three school-aged children. He is one of 100 men and women earning an income by removing and recycling debris on Efate and Tanna islands as part of the United Nations Development Programme’s early recovery programme. Credit: UNDP/Silke von Brockhausen
The UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination team (UNDAC) supported Government-led rapid needs assessments four days after the cyclone hit. Results revealed an urgent need for safe water, food, emergency shelter, medical facilities and supplies, and access to affected people. Credit: OCHA.
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Bhaktapur, a world-famous and ancient Nepali center of Hindu and Buddhist worship and culture, is one of many cities in Nepal left in ruins after the 25 April earthquake. The city that normally bustles with tourists, pilgrims and festive events was eerily silent for days, although the town is slowly coming back to life. Volunteers are showing up to help in the clean-up and aid is getting into the city to help people cope with and recover from the impacts of the devastating earthquake. (Credit: OCHA/Orla Fagan)
Just over a week after the earthquake in Nepal, 1.7 million children have been affected. The health and wellbeing of children affected by the disaster are hanging in the balance, according to UNICEF – as many have been left homeless, in deep shock and with no access to basic care. With the monsoon season only a few weeks away, children will be at heightened risk of diseases like cholera and diarrhoeal infections, as well as being more vulnerable to the threat of landslides and floods. (Credit: OCHA/Orla Fagan)
Information boards outside the UN House in Kathmandu, Nepal. In a disaster of this nature, coordination is key for an efficient response. Immediately after the earthquake happened, the UN deployed teams specialized in disaster assessment and coordination (UNDAC) to ensure that affected Nepalis would get the help they needed. (Credit: OCHA/Orla Fagan)
Military teams have been searching the town and mountains of rubble for signs of missing people including in the ancient city of Bhaktapur, which suffered heavily from the impact of the powerful 7.8 earthquake. Credit: OCHA/Orla Fagan
Just over a week after the earthquake, the World Food Programme (WFP) has distributed rice and high-energy biscuits to more than 196,000 people and has positioned supplies to feed about half a million people in the worst-affected areas. Food distributions are being combined with the delivery of much-needed medical supplies and tarpaulins for shelter as well as hospital equipment and other urgent relief items to reach remote districts, in collaboration with humanitarian partners. This photo depicts a WFP helicopters reaching a remote community in Gorkha. (Credit: WFP)
Since 29 April, some 52,000 tarpaulins have been distributed in 29 districts and an additional 234,160 tarpaulins are en route to Nepal. (Credit: OCHA/Orla Fagan)
The World Health Organization (WHO) is coordinating the measles, mumps and rubella immunization campaign in the relief camps in collaboration with Ministry of Health and Population of Nepal and UNICEF. On 2 May, over 520 children were immunized for measles, mumps & rubella (MMR) in Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts. Overall, as of 3 May, a total of 28,240 patients have been treated in different hospitals in and outside the Kathmandu valley and 3,355 have been admitted for hospital services. (Credit: WHO/M. Vurens van Es)
A pregnant woman nurses her child in Tundikhel in a camp set up and run by the Nepalese military. Among the over 8 million affected people are approximately 126,000 pregnant women, 21,000 of whom will need obstetric care in the coming three months. Additionally, approximately 40,000 women are at immediate risk of sexual and gender-based violence. (Credit: OCHA/Orla Fagan)
"My father had a chicken stall and I worked there since I was a kid... I've been in this camp ever since coming down from the mountain." Saadalah Abdullah, 12, referring to Mount Sinjar, where Yezidis first sought shelter after conflict forced them from their towns. "I'm from Kahtaniya, and the thing I want most in the world is to go back there." (November 2014, Arbat Camp, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis)
"We just arrived three days ago from Salahuddin province," said Saqar's father. "We have no plan now. If they liberate our villages we will go back there and rebuild. Otherwise we don't know what to do." (November 2014, Arbat Camp, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis)
Khayri Shammar Khalaf, 40, is from Jazira and fled when conflict came to his town.
"Whoever had a car got in it; otherwise they walked... At first we weren’t scared of them and wanted to resist, but when we saw them take over the police station in a hill close to our town and started indiscriminately shooting at people we were scared."
"We brought my father and mother to a house in a nearby village, with a proper floor - not mud - and a functioning toilet. They are old, it is difficult for them to move and they can’t bear the hardship of living in a tent."
(September 2014, Zahko, Iraq. Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis)
Yehi Zakaria is already two and a half years old, but he cannot stand due to a congenital condition that resulted in weak leg muscles. His father, Zakaria Ahmed Abdurrahman, 24, is sick with worry.
"We've just arrived in Arbat and are staying in this tent with relatives until the camp authorities give us a tent," he said. "We've spent the past month sleeping rough in the street until we were allowed into Kurdistan." (November 2014, Arbat Camp, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis)
Rabah was a primary school teacher in Hamdaniya, a small town close to Mosul, when the conflict came to his town.
"We were forced to leave with two hours notice... We're hoping that soon our homes will be liberated and we'll be able to go back to them."
Now, he works for the International Medical Corps, one of the NGOs active in the camps. He goes tent to tent, registering medical cases. "I have a BA in Education," he says, "but what to do? I'm trying to make the best of a bad situation." (December 2014, Erbil, Iraq. Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis)
Nabila and her son Marvel, lived in Bartallah, near Mosul. They fled last summer when fighting reached their town.
"There's no work and we're desperate," she said. "Relatives in the US asked us to have passports issued so they can arrange for us to join them there, but we don't want to leave our Iraq, we love it too much." (December 2014, Erbil, Iraq. Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis)
Emad Abdulahad and his son Marwan went from a luxurious semi-detached house in Mosul to sharing a half-constructed shopping mall near Erbil with hundreds of others.
"I left Mosul with ten bucks," he sighs. "I lost $12,000 in savings," he says as he flips through fading photographs of dinners with friends.
Emad's son, Marwan, walks with a hobble, the result of falling off the third floor of a half-constructed building they were squatting. "I am lucky to be alive," he admits. (December 2014, Erbil, Iraq. Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis)
“I am from Bahshika, outside Mosul. We have a big farm there and I used to play in the fields and with our guard dogs. We had to leave in a hurry," said four-year-old Aws, as he waited with his father in a World Food Programme distribution line. "Now, I’m spending the day on my iPad in the apartment we’re renting here. I don’t go out to play with the kids of the neighborhood because I don’t speak Kurdish. I’m lonely." (November 2014, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis)
Seven-year-old Safa guards her family's World Food Programme boxes by sitting on top of them.
“I haven’t been to school since we had to run away," she said. "The only Arabic language schools here are private and my family can’t afford to send me." (November 2014, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis)
Renass Zidan, 13, is a member of the Yezidi community forced to abandon their villages in July. He hasn't been to school since.
"I miss it," he said, adding that he wants to be an eye surgeon when he grows up.
Renass said he looked forward to when schools would open in January. Thanks to funding from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and has begun to open schools throughout Iraq, meaning that children like Renass and Safa can get back to the classrooms. (November 2014, Arbat Camp, Sulaymaniyah, Iraq. Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis)
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Kobe, Japan: The ferris wheel at Kobe Port, in addition to four other local landmarks, was lit in blue in recognition of WHD. Credit: Yuki Iwanami
Maguindanao, Philippines: Over 200 people, including indigenous women of Upi (pictured) and other community members, local government officials, students and humanitarian partners participated in a WHD celebration, which consisted of a community-driven disaster preparedness campaign, presentations by humanitarian agencies, a tree-planting activity and a concert. Celebrations were also held across the Philippines in Zamboanga, Tacloban and Manila. Credit: OCHA/Farida Kasuyo
Vanuatu: UNICEF's Rebecca Olul meets baby Pam, who was born at the height of Cyclone Pam in March. Olul is one of the humanitarians profiled as part of OCHA Regional Office of the Pacific's 2015 World Humanitarian Day Celebrations. Credit: OCHA
Canberra, Australia: In Australia, WHD was marked with a panel discussion at Parliament House, with a focus on the stories behind the headlines. In addition Rundle Mall the WHD videos were promoted at Rundle Mall. Credit: OCHA
Yangon, Myanmar: Aid workers who are responding to flooding in Myanmar paid tribute to the people killed in the floods with a minute's silence followed by a choir singing the song: "Humanity Comes from Humankind." Credit: UNFPA
Bangkok, Thailand: In Bangkok, an on-site public outreach campaign involved handing out 1,000 paper fans promoting WHD in a high-traffic BTS station (Sky Train) in Bangkok, in addition to an SMS campaign and a display of WHD videos in major intersections across the city. Credit: OCHA
Almaty, Kazakhstan: OCHA Regional Office for the Caucasus, Central Asia and Ukraine held a public screening of “The Good Lie,” a film based on a true story that traces the lives of children orphaned by the civil war in Sudan that began in 1983. They also hosted a photo exhibition, shown here. Credit: OCHA/Sevil Kaymakcalan
Bangui, Central African Republic: World Humanitarian Day celebrations brought together UN agencies, international and national NGOs, the Red Cross and officials from the transitional government at an event at the Alliance Française.The event included a photo exhibition, musical performances by displaced people, and a debate on humanitarian principles. Credit: OCHA
Mogadishu, Somalia: The security situation prevented UN staff from participating in an event in Mogadishu so OCHA supported a radio talk show about World Humanitarian Day. Credit: OCHA
Juba, South Sudan: More than 150 representatives of the government, aid groups and donors attended a commemorative event to honour the role of host communities in response - specifically the 29 aid workers who have lost their lives in South Sudan since the conflict started in December 2013. Credit: OCHA
Damascus, Syria: This year's WHD event in Damascus included artistic performances and an open discussion with the Regional Coordinator. Credit: OCHA/ Bassam Diab
Amman, Jordan: The WHD music concert on 20 Aug in Jordan featured well-known Jordanian singer Macadi Nahhas singing to over 300 humanitarian workers from all over Jordan (tickets for free) celebrating WHD together in the old amphitheatre in King Hussein Gardens in Amman, Jordan. Credit: OCHA
Gao, Mali: World Humanitarian Day was celebrated across Mali. In the northern city of Gao, a youth association and humanitarian actors recognized the day with a football match. Credit : MINUSMA
Freetown, Sierra Leone: In Sierra Leone, the OCHA team commemorated WHD with a Fun Run/Walk in Freetown to raise awareness of humanitarian responders in the Ebola response. Credit: OCHA
N'Djamena, Chad: Young Chadian girls look at drawings by Nigerian refugee children at the WHD Exhibition, held at the National Museum of Chad. Credit: OCHA/ Mayanne Munan.
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: In Ethiopia, WHD was marked with a series of events, in addition to a week-long photo exhibition organized in the lobby of the African Union Commission, which features photo stories about humanitarian action, collected by members of the Emergency Preparedness and Response Sub-cluster. Credit: OCHA
Geneva, Switzerland: Annual observance of World Humanitarian Day at the Palais des Nations included a debate on the impact of the Sustainable Development Goals on humanitarian work and response. Credit: UN Photo/Pierre Albouy
Dakar, Senegal: A visitor at a photo exhibition highlighting stories of people facing crisis in the region, part of a humanitarian fair to celebrate World Humanitarian Day. Credit: OCHA/Seynabou Niang
Milan, Italy: The Milan event included a parade, where volunteers marched in celebration of WHD. Credit: WFP
Milan, Italy: A special event at Expo Milano included a panel discussion about hunger and food security. Credit: WFP
Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo: Fifteen NGOs and UN agencies contributed photos to an exhibtion that took over the streets of Goma, North Kivu. Credit: OCHA
Canapé Vert, Haiti: In partnership with a local theatre group, Atelier Toto B and Symbi Roots, OCHA Haiti honoured WHD by presenting four dramas about cholera, food security, disaster and water and sanitation. Credit: OCHA/ Widlyn Dorenevil
Panama City, Panama: WHD was recognized with the fourth annual race, which was supported by Panama Armed Forces Running Association and the non-profit City of Knowledge Foundation. Credit: OCHA/R. Mobilia
New York, U.S.A.: Colombian music superstar Juanes, Malian-French singer Inna Modja, and Australian singer Cody Simpson, at the #ShareHumanity event at UN Headquarters in New York. Credit: Stuart Ramson/AP Images
New York, USA: Australian singer Cody Simpson joined other singers, news anchors and the Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the WHD celebration at UN headquarters.
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8 Feb 2015, Jonglei State, South Sudan: OCHA Field Coordinator Takesure Maguri welcomes Ms Amos and Mr Whitaker to Wai, where an estimated 20,000 people have sought shelter from fighting in South Sudan’s civil war. Credit OCHA/David Gough
8 Feb 2015, Jonglei State, South Sudan: Ms Amos and Mr Whitaker and South Sudan Humanitarian Coordinator Toby Lanzer. Credit OCHA/David Gough
8 Feb 2015, Jonglei State, South Sudan: Ms Amos and Mr Whitaker meet local officials. Credit OCHA/David Gough
8 Feb 2015, Jonglei State, South Sudan: Ms Amos and Mr Whitaker meet local officials. Credit OCHA/David Gough
8 Feb 2015, Jonglei State, South Sudan: IDP women carry food rations back into the bush where thousands of IDPs are now living. Credit OCHA/David Gough
8 Feb 2015, Jonglei State, South Sudan: Many of the IDP’s are living rough in temporary shelters in the bush. Credit OCHA/David Gough
8 Feb 2015, Jonglei State, South Sudan: Ms Amos and Mr Whitaker meet Nyatony Top, an IDP. Credit OCHA/David Gough
8 Feb 2015, Jonglei State, South Sudan: Wai is under the control of the SPLA-IO (Sudan People’s Liberation Army In Opposition). Credit OCHA/David Gough
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23 January 2015, Batangafo, CAR: The displacement site in Batangafo, about 330 kilometers north of the capital, Bangui, is overcrowded with more than 30,000 people and daily receiving hundreds of people driven from their homes by violence. Photo: OCHA/Gemma Cortes
23 Jan 2015, Batangafo, CAR. Senior Humanitarian Coordinator, Claire Bourgeois visited Batangafo together with a representative of the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, as well as officials from a number of aid groups. They visited the IDP camp and met with Wise Men, Pheul community, NGOs and displaced to discuss the needs of people here and the challenges impeding their return to their places of origin. Credit: OCHA/Gemma Cortes.
23 Jan 2015, Batangafo, CAR: Suzanne Kourma is 80 years old. She was forced to flee the village of Bam near the border with Chad because of fighting. Her husband was killed and she broke her leg before finally reaching Batangafo. “My village has disappeared. There has been a lot of violence in my years, but this has been the worst.” Credit: OCHA/Gemma Cortes
23 Jan 2015, Batangafo, CAR. Thousands have come to Batangafo because of intense fighting between Seleka militias and Sangaris (French military) forces last August 2014.Isabelle Kongo and her five children are happy for the small tent they have here. "Life is safer here even if we continue suffering in this tent." Credit: OCHA/Gemma Cortes
23 Jan 2015, Batangafo, CAR: The fighting across the country has left over half the population – 2.7 million people – in need of humanitarian assistance. There are about 438,000 people still internally displaced. More than 424,000 have left CAR and become refugees in neighbouring countries. Credit: OCHA/Gemma Cortes
23 Jan 2015, Batangafo, CAR: At the camp, more than 30,000 people live in thatch huts or under tarpaulins and plastic sheets, sheltering from dust, heat and wind. Women stand in line to collect jerry cans of water at two wells, while mounds of cassava are dried on two abandoned basketball courts. Credit: OCHA/Gemma Cortes
23 Jan 2015, Batangafo, CAR: Batangafo from the air. The north of the country has been plagued by chronic insecurity since 2005, due to the presence of rebels and bandits. The civilians in the region have been harassed by these armed groups and thousands have fled to Cameroon or Chad. Credit: OCHA/Gemma Cortes
23 Jan 2015, Batangafo, CAR: Skirmishes between armed groups in the area have created a constant influx of newly displaced people into Batangafo town, with thousands more clogging major roads in the region. Credit: OCHA/Gemma Cortes
23 Jan 2015, Batangafo, CAR: After visiting Batangafo, Ms. Bourgeois said: “The world needs to wake up to the enormity of the crisis in CAR. This is one of the most serious humanitarian emergencies in the world. We urgently need more action and more commitment. Action to protect civilians must be the top priority for all actors.” Credit: OCHA/Gemma Cortes