Nepal | July 06, 2020

Ways discussed to deal with disasters in a better manner

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, May 25

Officials of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, the World Food Programme and United Nations Resident Coordinator today met at the Humanitarian Staging Area to discuss sustainable methods to work together on better preparedness for crises.

The consultation brought together representatives from the government, chief of missions from various embassies, donors as well as UN agencies with the aim of discussing how the humanitarian community can work together to prepare for future emergencies.

While opening the event, Joint Secretary for Policy Division at the MoHA Kedar Neupane said, “Coordination between National Emergency Operation Center, the MoHA, WFP and the Logistics Cluster was excellent during the earthquake. It allowed us to handle, store and dispatch humanitarian relief such as tarpaulins, blankets, food and medication to the earthquake-affected areas in a very efficient manner. As Nepal is prone to disasters, the government is committed to working with stakeholders on developing a sustainable emergency and preparedness model.”

More than 88,800 cubic metres of humanitarian relief cargo including food, medication, emergency shelters and sanitation equipment was handled on behalf of 164 agencies at the Tribhuvan International Airport-based HSA after the earthquakes in April 2015.

The HSA proved instrumental in quickly handling and processing relief material arriving through the TIA, accelerating the response and saving lives.

A study by the Boston Consulting Group estimates that the establishment of HSA saved at least three weeks of response time after the quake. “This initiative, by thinking ahead, saved eight weeks of confusion and coordination at the airport which implied that humanitarian goods were moved quickly, saving lives” said Gail Marzetti, head of DFID Nepal.

“Nepal is among the top 10 most disaster-affected countries in the world, both in terms of mortality and number of events,” said Valerie Julliand, United Nations resident coordinator. “The collaboration of the government, civil society actors and the international community through the Logistics Cluster during the earthquakes is seen as a model to be replicated across Nepal,” she added.

“Meeting here at the Humanitarian Staing Area with our partners and stakeholders, we see concrete evidence of how we can do better when we all work together. There is no doubt that a collaborative approach is best for the people we serve — and in an emergency it can save lives. The next step now is to find a sustainable way forward to keep the HSA going and to expand this model,” said Pippa Bradford, WFP representative and country director.

The sustainability model applied to the TIA-HSA will be replicated in other similar platforms in different strategic locations across Nepal, granting effectiveness and efficiency in response to any scale of emergency, stated a joint press release issued by the MoHA, DFID, WFP, UNRC and WFP.

 


A version of this article appears in print on May 26, 2017 of The Himalayan Times.


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