Fears of growing civil unrest halts Carter Work Project
Kathmandu, October 9
Habitat for Humanity International today announced the cancellation of this year’s Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project, formerly scheduled to take place from November 1-6 in Chitwan.
Referring to media reports, it said Nepal has been experiencing civil unrest soon after the promulgation of the new constitution.
“We have been closely monitoring the situation and new circumstances have proven to be safety risks for volunteers and staff. Currently, many goods and materials coming into the country—including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and cooking fuel, as well as food and medical supplies—have been halted or slowed to a critical point, hindering Habitat’s capacity to effectively and safely execute the planned project,” read a press statement issued by the Habitat for Humanity International
Additionally, the United States
Embassy located in Kathmandu today issued a message recommending travelers to evaluate any upcoming plans in Nepal, stating that due to the nationwide fuel shortage and blockades on the border, many of the safety measures that would normally be relied on in an emergency situation may become unavailable.Hence, it has asked its citizens to reconsider travel plans to Nepal.
“I am saddened that we have had to cancel this year’s Carter Work Project,” said Jonathan Reckford, chief executive officer, Habitat for Humanity International.
“It’s the first time in 32 years that we have found ourselves in such a position. However, the severity of the shortages has proven to be insurmountable and given the circumstances, we would not be able to guarantee volunteer care and safety. Additionally, a large-scale event like this would only take away precious local resources already in short supply. This has been a difficult decision, but it is the responsible thing to do. We are grateful to our supporters and ask for their understanding and patience at this time.”
The Habitat for Humanity International remains committed to addressing adequate housing needs in the country. Nepali families who were selected as partner homeowners will still be served through local construction resources.
“While I am disappointed that we are unable to build in Nepal due to such uncertain circumstances, Rosalynn and I understand and support the Habitat’s decision. We will keep the people of Nepal in our prayers and ask everyone to do the same,” said former United States President Jimmy Carter. “We look forward to our ongoing work with Habitat and continuing to help shine the light on the need for affordable housing.”