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Catholic Relief Services Mobilizes Response to Nepal Earthquake


Updated May 1, 2015


Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the official international humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States, is committing at least $10 million to help those affected by the devastating earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday, April 25. CRS teams are on the ground in Kathmandu, the capital city, in other affected areas. .

The initial targets of CRS aid will be the thousands in need of shelter. Many buildings were destroyed or damaged in the 7.8 magnitude quake, and continuing aftershocks are causing widespread fear of sleeping inside of even intact buildings.

“Our commitment of support is not just to assist in the next few days and weeks, but for years to come,” said Dr. Carolyn Y. Woo, President and CEO of Catholic Relief Services. “And it’s in large part because of our generous donors and their compassion for the people of Nepal at this time of need that makes this possible.”

Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz, Archbishop of Louisville and President of the USCCB, has encouraged his brother bishops to take up a second collection for those affected by the earthquake. These funds will be used to support CRS’ emergency response and recovery efforts of CRS, including immediate life-saving assistance as well as a long-term response needed to rebuild communities and livelihoods. 

Working with local partner Caritas Nepal, CRS’ initial goal is to help families with emergency shelter, blankets, water treatment kits, and hygiene kits. Given the scale of the disaster, the number receiving help is expected to rise as our staff and partners are able to better assess the situation, coordinate our response with other agencies and procure additional supplies.

CRS teams in Kathmandu said that the supplies are especially needed now as cold, rainy, windy weather has made life miserable for those without shelter.

“There are very remote areas no one has reached so far and that’s where we’re putting our focus,” said Elizabeth Tromans, CRS’ emergency response coordinator. Speaking of some of the challenges facing aid efforts on the ground, she said “There are only a couple of roads into Nepal from India and parts have not been assessed yet and it’s unclear what routes remain open.”

The official death toll is over 5,500 and expected to rise as more villages are reached.

As this region, including northern India, is known for earthquakes, CRS had prepositioned stocks of emergency aid in nearby Bihar, India, and in Dubai. These supplies -- temporary shelter kits (tarpaulins, mats, rope), water purification kits and hygiene kits for 5,000 families – are being transported to Nepal for immediate distribution. Teams are also purchasing and transporting other critical relief items from India to transport into Nepal since most markets in Kathmandu remain closed. CRS plans to spend $2.5 million in the emergency phase, the next six months. That will reach 15,000 families – 75,000 people – with shelter and other critical supplies. 

The official death toll is now over 5,500 and is expected to rise as more villages are reached. Thousands more are injured. 

To make a donation, clidk on the "Make a Gift" link on the right of this page and indicate your gift is for "Nepal Relief."  All gifts will be forwarded to Catholic Relief Services for these relief efforts. 

To donate directly through CRS, log on to; call 877.435.7277; pr mail your donation to Catholic Relief Services, P.O. Box 17090, Baltimore, MD 21297-0303.  Be sure to note "Nepal Earthquake" in the memo line.

Click here for updates regarding CRS' efforts in Nepal. 

Please continue to pray for all those affected by the earthquake, as well as for the rescue and relief workers who are working tirelessly to bring healing to those in such desperate need.  


Photos courtesy of Catholic Relief Services.


What Your Donation to CRS Can Provide Our Sisters and Brothers in Nepal

$8 provides a water kit for a family. This includes 1 jerry can, 1 pail and aqua tabs for water purification.

$15 provides an emergency shelter kit. This includes tarps and nails that are combined with local materials to create emergency shelter.

$22 provides household living supplies. This includes sleeping mats, three blankets, utensils, plastics, glasses, and a cooking pot.

$28 provides hygiene kits. This includes a two-month family supply of soap, laundry detergent, toothbrush, toothpaste, feminine sanitary napkins, and towels.

Note: Dollar amounts cover items only. They do not include costs associated with distribution, training and monitoring.


Photos below courtesy of Catholic Relief Services.


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