Most funders that have been showing their support to Nepal since the country was struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake have focused their funding dollars almost exclusively on the immediate disaster relief needs. Ford is addressing the region’s emergent relief needs as well, but it is paying equal attention to recovery efforts that will take place in the future.
Ford awarded a total of $500,000 in grants to Save the Children, The Asia Foundation, and the TEWA Foundation. Although each of the grants were made to benefit the region as a whole, they are intended for pretty diverse range of uses.
- Save the Children was awarded a $100,000 grant to support its immediate relief work, focusing on rural and remote areas of the region.
- Ford gave the TEWA Foundation a $150,000 grant to support grassroots women’s organizations that will be working in community recovery efforts across Nepal.
- A $250,000 grant was awarded to the Asia Foundation, which will use the money to help local agencies focusing on long-term rebuilding efforts, specifically in the areas of psychosocial and education support for vulnerable and marginalized communities.
The Ford Foundation has supported development work in Nepal since the early 1940s. It comes as no surprise that it has quickly jumped onboard to help with the ongoing disaster relief efforts in the region. Also unsurprising is its support of large organizations such as Save the Children and the Asia Foundation. Throughout its long funding history in the region, Ford has always looked to projects that can be taken to scale, typically in a big way.
Unlike Ford’s work in neighboring India, which includes advocating for economic and social rights, sustainable agriculture, and sexual and reproductive health rights, its work in Nepal is narrower, focusing on the economic rights, social rights, and free expression in marginalized and vulnerable populations. Traditionally, the foundation’s work in Nepal (and Sri Lanka) has aimed for helping vulnerable populations in those regions emerge from “complex post-conflict transitions.”
Given the undoubtedly growing magnitude of the Nepali earthquake, coupled with the fact that the country was among the poorest in the world before the earthquake struck, it may be, at least for the time being, that Ford’s overall grantmaking goals for the region will shift to helping the Nepali people transition from disaster rather than conflict.