FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New York, NY, September 28, 2015 – On the second day of this year’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting, the focus of the opening plenary turned to helping Nepal “build back better” following the devastating earthquakes last spring. The plenary session featured a commitment by CGI members All Hands Volunteers and The Architects Foundation to reconstruct culturally appropriate, earthquake resilient permanent homes for displaced families in the Sindhupalchuk district of Nepal, a region in which approximately 90% of the housing stock was destroyed.
The Fast Track program, which will take place over two years and cost $2.3 million, also involves Cameron Sinclair’s Department of Small Works and local partners, the Society of Nepalese Architects (SONA) and ARCASIA. Together, the partners bring a wealth of relevant experience to the project, including sustainable design, post-disaster rebuilding, familiarity with cultural context, and project and volunteer management skills. The program uses a phased, community-driven approach and incorporates formal beneficiary training. Following a pilot phase, the program will be brought to scale using the beneficiary trainees and international and local volunteers, ultimately impacting 10 to 12 villages and approximately 540 homes.
One important objective of the Fast Track Reconstruction Program is to accelerate the return of the displaced to adequate homes, minimizing the lag time between immediate response efforts and rebuilding — a common problem in disaster relief contexts. This delay is known to seriously impair affected populations’ chances for successful recovery.
All designs for permanent homes must conform to government guidelines, which were not finalized by the Nepalese government until August. Because of the pressing need for shelter, All Hands Volunteers has been building temporary housing according to a government-approved design by the Himalayan Climate Initiative. The homes qualify as “transitional” housing in that they consist of a simple earthquake-resilient superstructure: steel frames, roof and mesh walls. The structures can then be turned into permanent homes by the homeowner at little cost by creating solid walls with salvaged stone and brick. These homes may serve to inform the community-led design process for the Fast Track Program, which is now in the two month assessment and design phase.
Fundraising for this program is underway.
Director, Public Affairs and Media Relations, American Institute of Architects
Director of Marketing and Communications, All Hands Volunteers
About All Hands Volunteers
Founded in 2005, All Hands Volunteers is a US-based, 501(c)3 non-profit organization which addresses the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters by engaging and leveraging volunteers, partner organizations, and local communities. All Hands Volunteers has mobilized over 32,000 volunteers on 54 projects worldwide, and has developed a deep expertise in volunteer coordination and management.
The Architects Foundation:
The American Institute of Architects Foundation, now called the Architects Foundation, advances excellence in design for the benefit of the public. As a nonprofit philanthropic extension of the American Institute of Architects, the Architects Foundation is the consummate voice and advocate for architecture and design in America. The Architects Foundation is dedicated to the belief that good design is good for all and plays an essential role in transforming lives and building a better world.
About the Clinton Global Initiative:
Established in 2005 by President Bill Clinton, the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), an initiative of the Clinton Foundation, convenes global leaders to create and implement solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. CGI Annual Meetings have brought together 190 sitting and former heads of state, more than 20 Nobel Prize laureates, and hundreds of leading CEOs, heads of foundations and NGOs, major philanthropists, and members of the media. To date, members of the CGI community have made more than 3,200 Commitments to Action, which have improved the lives of over 430 million people in more than 180 countries.
In addition to the Annual Meeting, CGI convenes CGI America, a meeting focused on collaborative solutions to economic recovery in the United States; and CGI University (CGI U), which brings together undergraduate and graduate students to address pressing challenges in their community or around the world. This year, CGI also convened CGI Middle East & Africa, which brought together leaders across sectors to take action on pressing social, economic, and environmental challenges.
For more information, visit clintonglobalinitiative.org and follow us on Twitter @ClintonGlobal and Facebook at facebook.com/clintonglobalinitiative