Delayed grants irk development partners

Kathmandu, April 24

Development partners have shared their frustration over delayed disbursement of housing grants to all quake-affected people and reiterated that the reconstruction process should move faster.

On behalf of Nepal International Development Partners Group (IDPG), the United Nations in Nepal conveyed this message in a press statement in the context of the second anniversary of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal.

IDGP also lauded some communities in rural areas who were getting back on their feet by taking ownership of the task of building their homes. “Whether it be locals rebuilding walking trails to their village, working to rebuild health posts, or people opening bank accounts — many for the first time ever — to receive the first tranche of the government’s housing grants, there is much that is worth celebrating,” read the statement.

It further read: “But there are also people and communities who are yet to receive help and for whom the process of reconstruction has not moved fast enough. We understand and share their frustrations and realise that these processes will need to move faster.”

Almost 9,000 people were killed, and hundreds of thousands of houses and infrastructure were either fully or partially damaged in the quake that occurred on April 25, 2015 and its subsequent after-tremors. IDPG is the apex platform of international partners present in Nepal and includes country representatives, international organisations, and INGOs.

It stressed the role of the National Reconstruction Authority in steering and coordinating all recovery and reconstruction endeavours and also hoped that the new appointed local government bodies — to be elected through the forthcoming local level elections slated for May 14 — would play key roles in this process.

IDPG also mentioned that the Government of Nepal and the group had agreed on four fundamental principles to guide the reconstruction process. These principles included equity to all legitimate beneficiaries, ownership to community members, safer construction of homes and schools, and maintaining transparency and accountability while disbursing grants. The development partners said reconstruction would be thr top national agenda for quite some time and it would not be easy. “The time ahead will not be easy, but working collectively, it is possible to overcome the trauma and build back better,” read the statement.

It further stated that rebuilding a safer, more resilient Nepal would be the interests of the people and the Government of Nepal as well as all its development partners, friends, and well-wishers.