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Wesleyan University

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Program Name

Nepal: Tibetan and Himalayan Peoples


On April 25th, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal, followed by a 7.3 magnitude aftershock on May 12nd, 2015. Immediate humanitarian aid was needed and promptly received. Now, seven months later, long-term relief efforts are beginning. The major players in both post-earthquake relief efforts and foreign aid are foreign governments, large organizations, and small organizations. In the immediate aftermath, relief workers supplied victims with temporary shelter, food, and healthcare. Now, in the long-term, the two major challenges faced are resettlement and reconstruction. This is true especially because of new problems created by the recent blockade. Victims still are need of permanent shelters, nutritious food, and legal documents. Upon further investigation, mostly via interviews with foreign government officials, relief organization employees, and recipients of aid, there were holes that existed in relief efforts. Even though efforts were largely effective, not all aid was distributed equally. This was due to difficulty in accessing remote regions, as well as corruption by individuals, organizations, and the government. In the aftermath of a disaster, foreign aid is absolutely needed. However, when implemented in the long-term (it has been present in Nepal for the past sixty years) it can be detrimental and lead to a cycle of dependency. Still, this is not to discount that many lives have been saved, altered, and changed for the better because of foreign aid. Although many of the world’s problems seem immense, we, as individuals, have the power to make a small difference if we act based on educated decisions.


Emergency and Disaster Management