Govt releases Rs 750 mln for disaster management

KATHMANDU: The government has decided to release Rs 750 million to immediately address the humanitarian crisis in the wake of floods, landslides and inundation in different parts of the country after incessant rains.

A meeting of the Central Disaster Relief Committee which convened today at the National Emergency Operations Centre decided to immediately release the amount to the affected districts for the rescue, relief and rehabilitation works.

The Committee instructed the security bodies to work in coordination and with promptness for the rescue and relief of the affected people.

It also directed the bodies concerned to work with priority at the affected places if there is the possible risk of washing-away of embankments.

It is stated that the amount would be released from the Prime Minister's Disaster Relief Fund to the Central Disaster Relief Committee and would be mobilised in the related areas on a priority basis so that there is no paucity of funds for the rescue, relief and rehabilitation.

In the meeting, Deputy Prime Minister Bhim Rawal, who is also looking after the Ministry of Home Affairs, said that the amount would be deposited in the Central Disaster Relief Committee so that there would be no shortage of budget for relief, rescue and rehabilitation at the time of disaster.

"The people displaced from places where there is the problem of flooding and landslide should be provided shelter on public land; and if it is not possible, arrangements should be made for tents to rehabilitate the affected people. Please, give priority to the disabled, underprivileged and the pregnant women in this connection," DPM Rawal said.

The meeting has urged the bodies concerned to make arrangements for the supply of water and the required foodstuff and medical treatment to prevent the spread of diarrhoea and epidemics in the worst-affected places.

It likewise called on the bodies concerned to transport the essential commodities, food grains and medicines to the affected areas even by air in case there is no road accessibility, and to disseminate reliable, factual and objective information about the incidents to the people in coordination with the government and private media.

Deputy Prime Minister Rawal also instructed the security bodies to implement the disaster preparedness action plan.

The meeting also urged the three security bodies - Nepal Police, Nepal Army and Armed Police Force - to make their collaboration more systematic and effective.

He also urged the bodies concerned for the policy-level arrangement for the effective implementation of the Land Use Policy, saying many disaster cases take place for lack of implementation of the Policy in practice.

Similarly, Chief Secretary Somlal Subedi directed the concerned ministries not to allow shortage of budget under any pretext during the hour of disaster.

Present in the meeting were DPM Rawal, Chief Secretary Dr Subedi, Home Secretary Narayan Gopal Malego, Communications Secretary Dinesh Kumar Thapaliya, chiefs and representatives of three security bodies, among others.

As per the latest data of the Home Ministry, a total of 28 people have lost their lives and 24 have gone missing at different districts across the country due to floods and landslides recently.