Natural Disasters

Aftermath of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25, 2015. The Asia Foundation and its sister organization Give2Asia are working to provide emergency relief and a comprehensive assessment of needs. 

Aid and Recovery in Post-Earthquake Nepal

October 28, 2015

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On Monday, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake hit South Asia, its epicenter in northeastern Afghanistan, devastating many areas, killing hundreds and injuring thousands. Just six months ago, on April 25, in similarly difficult and remote terrain, a 7.8-magnitude quake struck Nepal.

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U.S.-China Cooperation on Disaster Management Training

September 23, 2015

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Two-man search teams enter a darkened classroom to look for survivors. They work in pairs, systematically exploring the jumble of overturned desks and chairs. In a corner of the room, Dominic Marzano and Wilson Lee are watching closely.

Conor Ashleigh Nepal 2013 

Nepal: The Quake and the Constitution

June 24, 2015

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Two months have passed since Nepal was rocked by a series of devastating earthquakes. The tremors continue, but it appears that the earth is finally settling and some respite may be had – for a short while at least, until the monsoon rains bring their annual havoc of landslides and floods, which are certain to be far worse this year…

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Chinese Foundations and NGOs Cross Border to Aid Nepal

June 10, 2015

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On April 25, moments after I heard the news that a powerful earthquake had struck Nepal, colleagues from several NGOs in China, including the One Foundation and Save the Children, contacted me to discuss how to respond to this disaster next door. Using the WeChat app, our group expanded quickly. A dozen Chinese and international organizations active in disaster management in China joined the discussion.

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Quake That Shook the Earth Now Shaking Nepal’s Social Fabric

May 13, 2015

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Another powerful earthquake struck Nepal on Tuesday, collapsing hillsides and already-damaged buildings and sending panicked citizens once again running into the streets. The 7.3 magnitude quake was followed by several aftershocks, including one of magnitude 5.6 and another of 6.3. The 7.8 magnitude earthquake of April 25 had already left much of Nepal completely devastated. On May 4, the government reported that 7,365 people had died and 14,355 people had been injured.

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In Nepal’s Far-Flung Villages, the Suffering Continues

May 6, 2015

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In the remote village of Shyam Sathu in the hills of Sindhupalchok, I came upon a solitary young man in his mid-twenties – I’ll call him Arun – wrapped in a humble white garment, head shaven, and barefoot, staring into oblivion towards the high Himalayas. The village folk told me that his wife and two children had died in the earthquake. He was lost, alone, and devastated – overwhelmed by impermanence.

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Webinar on long-term recovery in Nepal

May 6, 2015

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As Nepal digs out after the catastrophic earthquake, first responders have mobilized, but Nepal’s long-term recovery needs remain vast and uncertain, according to experts who took part in a May 1 webinar hosted by the Center for Disaster Philanthropy, the Council on Foundations, and The Asia Foundation. “It’s my fear that people who are already hom… Read more

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In Quake’s Wake, the Price of Political Disarray

April 29, 2015

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The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on Saturday morning, April 25, and the 6.5 aftershock the following day, left frightened residents here in Kathmandu huddled in the rain in streets blocked with rubble and shaken by powerful tremors that made those structures still standing too dangerous to enter. Deaths are now estimated at over 5,500, a number that will continue to climb as emergency workers dig through collapsed buildings and push into the most affected districts of Dhading, Gorkha, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, and Sindhupalchok.

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Financing the Costs of Climate Change in Disaster-Prone Asian Nations

September 17, 2014

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Disaster insurance has quickly risen up the global policy agenda in the last few years, where phrases like “loss and damage mechanisms” and “micro-insurance schemes” are catching fire in climate change discussions about how to finance the costs…

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Emerging Chinese Foundations Expand Role in Disaster Management

September 17, 2014

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Last month, the One Foundation, one of China’s most visible charitable organizations, presented a new strategy to government officials and national researchers that marks a major shift in the approach to disaster mitigation in the country.

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Survey of Victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan Defies Preconceptions

February 5, 2014

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It is perhaps unusual for survey research to provoke demonstrations denouncing the results, but that is precisely what happened last month when Social Weather Stations issued a survey release showing that victims of Typhoon Haiyan, “Yolanda” in the Philippines…

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Two Months After Yolanda: Lessons from the Bunkhouse Controversy

January 15, 2014

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The recent controversy about temporary shelters – or bunkhouses – for victims in Yolanda-hit areas offers some lessons not only in emergency response but also in reconstruction efforts. These are not new lessons…

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Disaster Response Put to the Test: Lessons from Typhoon Yolanda

December 18, 2013

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More than one month after typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan), known as the world’s biggest typhoon, struck the Philippines, authorities now estimate that over 14 million people have been affected, including four million displaced. The estimated death toll is at 6,069. The government is now on the hard road to recovery and reconstruction, allocating…

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Give2Asia Launches Typhoon Yolanda Recovery Fund

November 13, 2013

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The Asia Foundation’s philanthropic partner, Give2Asia, has launched the Typhoon Yolanda Recovery Fund to support the victims of the typhoon that struck the Philippines on November 8. Give2Asia is identifying the most urgent needs for relief, as well as short-term and long-term community recovery, and is defining projects in partnership with local… Read more