Nepal Earthquake Recovery Apeal Strategic Overview(2).pdf

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This is in part due to Nepal’s geographical landscape and poor infrastructure, but also a result of much
miscommunication and at times a poor understanding of the local context and culture, ie. little or no
consideration for the structures of Nepali society (look at Appendix for more detail). Such as, efforts which
go to a village and hand relief items out without properly assessing the needs or identifying those most
vulnerable of not being included, ie. Dalits1 or other marginalised castes, women and children, the elderly or
in contrast targeting marginalised groups in a way that disrupts community cohesion.
On the ground the view of the relief efforts have often reflected disappointment and disillusionment. Many
different groups have reported positively on the efforts of the Nepali Army and Police Force, but often consider
these as separate to the government. The mobilisation of young Nepali’s, including the Non Resident Nepali
(NRN) communities to living abroad to form groups delivering aid relief and helping with the clean up efforts
of areas particularly of cultural significance have been impressive. These efforts largely originating from the
middle-class and affluent Nepali’s based in Kathmandu, have for many sown important seeds of hope for
the future rebuilding of Nepal. To keep this momentum of solidarity and direct it to longer-term sustainable
impact, is going to be challenging, but also an important resource to be nurtured, in a country that is made
up of a majority of youth. Nepali’s helping Nepali’s rebuild their country is key to Nepal having a positive
future ahead of itself.
A wide range of sources have also commented on the duplication of relief efforts, leaving areas and people
in real need have not received aid. The response has involved so many different parties with their own
agenda’s, which has led to a lack of systematic coordination, often without any clear mechanisms in place to
assess need and monitor distributions, ie. many efforts consist of distributing basic food supplies for 2-3days,
in areas where the greater immediate need is shelter or healthcare. Also so many supplies have been coming
from abroad or bought in Kathmandu, when they are in supply that this has negatively impacted the local
economies of district headquarters in outlying areas when supplies are available and inflation since the
earthquake on basic food items has already increased significantly, with this likely to rise further in the
coming months.
The monsoon season normally arrives around mid-June when the country experiences daily, heavy rainfall.
The horrors of disease, epidemics and hundreds of thousands of homeless people living in poor and unsanitary
conditions during the monsoon could be catastrophic.
Therefore the real concern and priority is for the mid-term recovery phase is to focus on healthcare,
sanitation, shelter and the rebuilding of communities quickly. The problems are multi-layered and complex,
which in turn need multidimensional approaches that are flexible to changing needs, which small grassroots
organisations are well placed to provide.
Visits to outlying areas despite the terrible reality of loss and devastation, have also been a strong reminder of
the strength and resilience of the Nepali people and their ability to make the most of a tragically catastrophic
situation. It is key to support local community initiatives to lead the rebuilding of their communities.

1 The term, ‘Dalit’ is most commonly used to identify those on the lowest rung in the caste hierarchy, making them some of the
most vulnerable and poor groups within Nepali society; oppressed, suppressed and exploited. (ILO: ‘ Dalits and Labour in Nepal:
Discrimination and Forced Labour’ p.1).