ACRP Headquarters, December 2015. Religions for Peace Asia (ACRP), in response to the devastating earthquakes in April and in May 2015 in Nepal, has set into motion the project “supporting earthquake survivors and advancing social cohesion through multi-religious cooperation”, with the partnership of Religions for Peace (RfP) International and RfP Nepal.
Responding to the joint appeal issued in early September 2015 by Dr. William Vendley, RfP International Secretary General, Rev. Yoshitaka Hatakeyama, RfP Asia Secretary General and the various ACRP National Chapters, ACRP and its networks have embarked upon a fund-raising campaign to carry out the tripartite project jointly agreed by RfP International, ACRP and RfP Nepal.
Generous contributions have come from the China Conference of Religions for Peace (CCRP), Korean Conference of Religions for Peace (KCRP), Religions for Peace Japan (WCRP Japan) and Religions for Peace Myanmar (RfPM) for the implementation of the project.
A few weeks after the April earthquake, RfP International and RfP Nepal and later joined by ACRP have organized humanitarian relief operations in three villas namely Latipur, Nuwakot, and Dhading located around the periphery of the capital Kathmandu. RfP Nepal, the local coordinating team, has distributed essential goods such as mats, blankets, hygiene products, utensils, mosquito nets and others to those who are most in need. In addition, RfP Nepal has provided galvanized tin sheets to victims living outdoor or in temporary shelters to start re-building their own homes.
In July 2015, the ACRP Support Nepal Earthquake Victim Taskforce was sent to assess the situations of heavily affected communities. The assessment was translated into a rehabilitation plan that will be gradually implemented to assist the victims to rebuild their lives through concrete support and multi-religious cooperation.
At present, the project implementation is facing serious challenges due to an abrupt blockade, which restricts the flow of rehabilitation and aid materials from India to Nepal. This has resulted in the slow-down of rehabilitation projects of ACRP project and many other relief organizations in Nepal. Now, even the average citizens as well as the earthquake victims are suffering from shortage of supplies such as fuels, medicines and daily products. In these circumstances, RfP Nepal has difficulty in operating its relief works as scheduled. As a result, the implementation period of the project has been extended until June 30th 2016, though it had originally been until December 31st 2015. Further support for this project is highly needed and appreciated. Report by Rev. Masamichi Kamiya, ACRP Coordinator for the RfP Project in Nepal.