Blog & Stories / 03.14.18

RCUSA Emphasizes Need for Life-saving Protections

RCUSA Emphasizes Need for Life-saving Protections
Urges the Administration to Extend Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nepal for at Least Another 18 Months, Calls on Congress to Pass Permanent, Legislative Solution for
All  Long-term TPS Holders

Washington, DC – On June 24, 2015, a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck the Himalayan country of Nepal and was followed by a series of devastating aftershocks.  So intense was the quake’s impact that, within a matter of moments, more than eight million people’s lives were severely impacted. More than 9,000 lives were lost and over 22,000 people were injured, with nearly 1 million homes or businesses severely damaged or destroyed. Recognizing the serious implications such devastation had on Nepal’s economy and infrastructure, the U.S. government designated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Nepal to protect Nepalis already in the United States from being returned to harm.

As the April 25th deadline to decide whether to extend the current 18-month TPS designation approaches, Refugee Council USA (RCUSA) urges the Administration to consider current country conditions within Nepal and extend TPS for an additional 18 months. Fourteen of Nepal’s hard-to-access districts remain devastated by the earthquake. Roads in these areas remain destroyed limiting access to food, clean water, and other basic human needs.  Additionally, during the summer of 2017, Nepal’s recovery process was further impeded by a series of floods, which further strained the country’s already weakened agricultural system.  The floods likewise delayed ongoing reconstruction efforts and exacerbated housing insecurity that has prevented thousands of displaced persons from being able to safely return to their homes.

Mary Giovagnoli, RCUSA’s Director, said: “The earthquake of 2015 drove nearly 1 million Nepalis further into poverty, displaced nearly 3 million people, an estimated 2-million of whom remain displaced, and resulted in a significant loss of life and livelihood. To be sure, recovery efforts are ongoing and the conditions within Nepal are not yet stable enough to facilitate a forced return of the nearly 9,000 TPS holders presently residing in the U.S. Failing to extend TPS for Nepali TPS holders would ignore this ongoing crisis and push more people into overburdened systems as they continue to look for ways to secure their protection. It is equally critical that Congress takes action and passes a permanent, legislative solution that protects all TPS holders in the United States.”

Contact: Danielle Grigsby, Associate Director RCUSA, dgrigsby@rcusa.org