Local bodies told to distribute winter relief to quake victims within a week

KATHMANDU: Employee Administration and Internal Management Section of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development yesterday directed all local bodies of 24 districts to distribute winter relief package to earthquake survivors within a week.

According to the MoFALD, the directive was issued following a secretary-level decision.

Although the government has already released the amount to the local bodies through the district disaster relief committees, earthquake survivors who are still living in tents in freezing temperatures, are under increasing risk due to lack of warm clothes.

“The local bodies have been directed to do needful to reach out to the survivors with cash relief through the concerned chief district officers within a week,” a circular issued on Monday read.

“Chief district officers and local development officers will depute civil servants in district-based offices for the purpose of distributing relief,” it added.

Quake affected families of Ramechhap, Sindhuli, Dolakha, Sindhupalchowk, Kavre, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Dhading, Makwanpur, Gorkha, Chitwan, Lamjung, Tanahun, Syangja, Parbat, Gulmi, Palpa, Baglung, Myagdi, Solukhumu and Okhaldhunga are entitled to Rs 10,000 each for warm clothes.

According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, approximately Rs 5.8 billion have already been released to distribute cash relief to quake-hit families for warm clothes. However, only less than 9 per cent (approx Rs 52 crore) of the allocated amount had reached the quake survivors as of Monday. More than 52,000 households in 24 districts are eligible for cash relief of Rs 10,000 each.

At least 20 earthquake survivors are said to have already lost their lives due to cold. The freezing temperatures are particularly hard on vulnerable groups, such as the elderly, children, pregnant women and lactating mothers.