Nepal | May 27, 2020

CDRF to receive extra Rs 750m from PM’s fund

Himalayan News Service
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Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli receives the cheque of Rs 52.1 million from representatives of the SBI Nepal for the PM’s Disaster Relief Fund, in his office, Baluwatar

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli receives the cheque of Rs 52.1 million from representatives of the SBI Nepal for the PM’s Disaster Relief Fund, in his office, Baluwatar, on Sunday, May 15, 2016. Photo: RSS

Kathmandu, August 3

The Central Disaster Relief Fund, which has been sitting on over one billion rupees in unspent cash, is all set to receive an additional Rs 750 million from the Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund.

The amount the CDRF, which is under the Ministry of Home Affairs, is getting from the PM’s fund has surprised the ministry officials as the move, which they termed as ‘populist’, had nothing to do with the thousands of households affected by recent floods and landslides.

An official at the finance administration section of the ministry said CDRF was not cash-strapped when the minister-led committee took a decision to seek more funds from the PM’s fund.

He said the ministry needed to carry out emergency rescue and relief work in several districts which were most affected by the floods and landslides.

“It’s just a populist decision,” he added. According to him, the CDRF still has more than Rs 1.5 billion in its account after it released Rs 30 million each to Pyuthan, Kaski and Saptari districts.

MoHA’s Joint Secretary Binod KC also confirmed that the CDRF was going to receive more fund from the PM’s fund in a day or two as per a decision taken on July 27 by the CDRF, which was chaired by the home minister.

While the recent floods and landslides killed 105 persons in different districts rendering over 5,000 families homeless, the National Human Rights Commission stated in a letter sent to the ministry that the government failed to provide immediate relief to the needy in the most affected districts, including Pyuthan and Gulmi.

“The populist decision was taken in Singha Durbar and it is not aimed at supporting the victims in the affected districts,” a ministry official said, recounting that the CDRF had failed to mobilise existing fund, which was collected in the aftermath of the devastating earthquakes in 2015.

While the ministry instructed the district disaster relief committees to provide Rs 40,000 each to the families of the deceased and Rs 10,000 each to the families displaced in the flood and landslide-affected districts, most of the affected families have not received the amount till date.

According to stakeholders, lack of coordination among government agencies and other organisations has delayed rescue and relief works.

During a recent meeting of the logistic cluster, representatives of Nepal Red Cross Society, OXFAM, Save the Children, CARE, Plan International, IOM, NDF, Samaritan’s Purse, Nepali Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Force UN-WFP, UNHCR, UNICEF and WHO shared that the organisations were ready to coordinate with the government agencies to expedite rescue, relief and rehabilitation works in the districts.

“But most of them have not acted as they had announced during the meeting,” MoHA officials claimed.


A version of this article appears in print on August 04, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.


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