Kathmandu, June 21

Development partners have urged the government to expedite reconstruction works that directly support livelihoods recovery of the earthquake-affected communities.

During a conference on ‘Livelihoods Recovery: Lessons Learnt and Way Forward’ held here today, they emphasised that livelihoods recovery should be given equal emphasis as building houses and other infrastructure.

Inaugurating the conference, Minister for Industry Som Prasad Pandey said the government is serious to speed up recovery of livelihoods for the people affected by last year’s earthquakes and urged the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) to make its performance more visible on the ground.

NRA CEO Sushil Gyewali highlighted potential of employment creation in construction industry and that the authority has a target to create at least 25,000 masons and skilled workers within three months.

Australian Ambassador to Nepal Glenn White said livelihoods recovery is as important as reconstruction. “Rebuilding houses is important. However, livelihoods recovery is more important as it helps families to make decision about their priorities whether they want to build house, send children to school or grow their business,” Glenn stated.

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Country Director Renaud Meyer said reconstruction should not only focus on buildings but rebuilding lives and livelihoods. Mayer added that Rapid Enterprises and Livelihoods Recovery Project (RELRP) supported by Australian government has supported 14,000 micro entrepreneurs to revive their enterprises and livelihoods. He added that UNDP’s Community Infrastructure and Livelihoods Recovery Project has supported 20,000 households through the reconstruction of 81 vital community infrastructure like irrigation canals, among others.

The conference was jointly organised by the Ministry of Industry, NRA and UNDP to share the lessons learnt during livelihoods recovery following last year’s devastating quakes. Micro entrepreneurs revived after the earthquakes have organised an expo on the sidelines of the event.