DFID support for post-earthquake reconstruction

KATHMANDU: The Department for International Development (DFID) has contributed British Pound 1.5 million to the United Nations' World Food Programme (WFP) for post-earthquake reconstruction works.

With the donation, the WFP would be able to support the Government of Nepal’s efforts to rebuild critical infrastructure such as trails in remote areas affected by the quake in 2015, the WFP Nepal stated in a press release today.

“Nearly 18 months ago, the devastating earthquakes destroyed trails and roads in large swathes of rural Nepal – and the effects are still being felt today,” said Pippa Bradford, WFP Nepal Representative and Country Director.

“WFP knows that access to trails helps communities reach markets and social services, and is inextricably linked to food security and economic development.”

The contribution would be used to rehabilitate six trails [total 129 km] and complete engineer assessments on additional six trails [total 158 km] in the areas that were most severely affected by the quake.

The new trails would be built to withstand seasonal landslides as well as future earthquakes and the project would directly or indirectly benefit approximately 55,175 people living in the mountainous areas of Dhading, Gorkha, and Rasuwa, the UN agency informed.

“Investing in rural access, including with foot trails and bridges, is fundamental for the reconstruction effort in some of the most difficult-to- reach earthquake-affected areas,” said Gail Marzetti, the Head of DFID Nepal.

The WFP has been active in trail reconstruction across its long history in Nepal, most recently in its response to the 2015 earthquakes, when around 880 kilometres of trails were either reopened or rehabilitated providing access for 130,000 people.