UN gives Flagship Package

KATHMANDU: The United Nations (UN) today handed over Flagship Package to Nepal, marking its International Day for Disaster Reduction, 2009, organised in the capital today.

The package will simply focus on Five Flagship

areas of action that

comprises of the Joint Disaster Risk Reduction Programme for Nepal.

Margareta Wahlstrom, United Nations Assistance Secretary General for Disaster Reduction, who is on a three-day visit to Nepal to assess death and destruction caused in recent nature’s fury in different parts of the country, handed over the package to Home Secretary Dr Govinda Prasad Kusum, amid a function in the capital.

Addressing the function, Wahlstrom explained that the Flagship will concentrate on policy and institutional support for disaster risk management in Nepal.

The programme focusses on institutional capacity building, legislative enactment, orientation of financial mechanisms towards risk reduction and risk management.

Also the package includes training and capacity building and mainstreaming disaster risk management and climate change into the development planning process, at all levels.

“Nepal’s experience in planning comprehensive flood mitigation, disaster preparedness and building safer schools and hospitals through partnership is commendable,” she said.

Whalmstrom further added that the new package would provide a positive message at a time when negotiations were scheduled at the forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference slated to begin in Copenhagen, in December.

She said that it was

possible for even vulnerable and small countries like Nepal to avert the impact of climate change on their people through sound planning of disaster reduction measures.

“The only way for Nepal to prepare for more extreme weather tomorrow is to reduce disaster risk today,” she suggested.

According to the UN, Nepal is vulnerable

to climate change impact and multiple natural

hazards — earthquake, floods, landslides and glacial lake outbursts.

The UN has also warned that Nepal is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world. The UN reports has shown that Nepal on an average loses more than two lives to natural disasters, every day. “More people are killed by disaster in Nepal than any other countries in South Asia,” the UN stated.

The function was organised by Nepal Risk Reduction Consortium which comprises the United Nations, The World Bank, Asian Development Bank, International Federation of the Red Cross and the Government of Nepal. On the occasion, the partners of the consortium pledged continued support and assistance to reduce the disaster risk in future.

PM lavishes praise on donors

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on Wednesday commended the Bepal Risk Reduction Consortium in launching the first-ever Disaster Risk Reduction initiative in the country.

“We appeal our donors and international partners to continue providing us more assistance to fight climate change in the country,” PM Nepal said, addressing a function organised in the capital to mark the International Day for Disaster Risk Reduction, 2009.

“There is little or no mechanism for early warning system in the country. It is time to act,” he added.

Home Minister Bhim Rawal informed that the government was all set to introduce the Disaster Risk Management Act for the first time in the country, which he believed would dramatically alter the present situation marked by high death toll and colossal losses of property to nature’s fury.

UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Rober Piper, WB’s country director Susan Goldmark, acting country director of the ADB Yukihiro Shiroishi and the deputy head of regional delegation of International Federation of the Red Cross Michael Higginson pledged their continued support to Nepal.— HNS