Strategic framework puts recovery of livelihoods on top priority in post-quake reconstruction

KATHMANDU: The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), in collaboration with Nepal's National Planning Commission, on Friday launched the ‘Strategic Framework for Resilient Livelihoods in Earthquake-Affected Areas of Nepal’.

The working paper, written by 18 lead and contributing authors and reviewed by four senior scientists and policymakers, has explored a range of strategic choices and options for developing resilient livelihoods in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of local magnitude 7.6 that struck Nepal on April 25.

It was prepared with an aim to complement the Post Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA) of the Government of Nepal by providing insights into the livelihood dimensions of the earthquake and its socioeconomic and livelihood impacts.

Arguing that recovery of livelihoods must be the top priority in the reconstruction process, the document offers a roadmap to restore, revive, and revitalise livelihoods and the country’s economy. It details a number of key elements of a strategy for livelihood recovery to inform the Government of Nepal’s overall strategic plan.

It has stated that a long-term strategy for the transition from reconstruction and restoration to sustainable livelihoods that are more resilient to future disasters is needed.

Launching the Framework, Prof Govind Raj Pokharel, Vice-Chair of the National Planning Commission, said a livelihood recovery strategy must not only redress the damage caused by the earthquake, but it must also help build the resilience of communities to future shocks.

“This Framework will be beneficial to the Government of Nepal, the private sector, and other development agencies in streamlining development efforts in the process of rebuilding the nation,” he has been quoted in a statement issued by ICIMOD.“We are pleased to work with ICIMOD on the development of the livelihood recovery strategy; more specifically, the Government thanks the Centre for its immediate support to the national rescue and relief operations in the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal earthquake.”

The Director General of ICIMOD, Dr David Molden, said that the Framework has been prepared primarily to provide insights into how to restore, revive, and revitalise livelihoods focusing on the various socioeconomic challenges towards a strategic framework for designing and implementing actions, particularly those in the hills and mountain areas.

“This paper aims to complement the Post Disaster Needs Assessment of the Government of Nepal by providing insights into the livelihood dimensions of the earthquake and its socioeconomic and livelihood impacts,” he said.

The Framework outlines some key elements that should be included in a livelihood recovery strategy. These are:

· Creating an enabling policy and institutional environment

· Engaging and coordinating diverse stakeholders

· Strengthening the skills and capacity of affected people

· Tapping the potential of internal and external job markets

· Facilitating structural transformation from low to high productivity sectors

· Ensuring gender equality and social inclusion by integrating women and marginalised groups

· Promoting community empowerment

· Integrating ecosystem and biodiversity conservation into the livelihood recovery process

· Revitalising farming and tourism sectors

· Revitalising micro, small, and medium enterprises