A massive 7.8 earthquake rocked Nepal on April 25, 2015. The government effectively shut down just weeks later after lawmakers couldn’t agree on the provisions of a new national constitution. The National Reconstruction Authority disbanded as a result, and was recommissioned just recently after the new constitution was adopted.
Meanwhile, India, Nepal’s neighbor and strongest trading partner, blocked aid convoys from crossing into Nepal. Depending who you ask, that move was India’s attempt to flex some muscle against Nepal for constitutional proposals it disapproved of, or to protect drivers from confrontations with violent protesters across the border. Either way, the embargo lasted for four months, during which truckloads of food, and fuel, and building supplies languished on a highway while people inside Nepal slept in the rain without knowing when they would get their next meal.
Finally, the government says, a national reconstruction program is getting out of the gate. Let’s hope that’s true, because a lot of catch up is needed before any appreciable progress can be measured. One year later, here’s where things stand:
- 9000: people killed;
- 1,000,000: homes destroyed;
- 4,000,000: people still living under substandard temporary conditions.
- 0: number of homes rebuilt by the National Reconstruction Authority;
- 0: number of schools rebuilt by the National Reconstruction Authority;
- 50: number of people who received “compensation grants” to rebuild destroyed homes;
- $250: amount of money they received.
The money flow:
- $4,100,000,000: amount pledged to Nepal by other nations at international donor conference;
- $0: amount of pledge dollars received.
Reports also say that villagers in the hardest hit remote areas have yet to receive ANY governmental assistance, and still have not been reached by aid groups.