Reconstruction yet to begin but Rs 27 billion have already been spent

Social Welfare Council has received a number of complaints against I/NGOs for allegedly making fake claims without doing anything on the ground

Kathmandu, December 10

The government and non-governmental organisations have already spent over 27 billion rupees in the name of supporting victims of the devastating April earthquake and its aftershocks without taking any initiative to reconstruct the damaged buildings or heritage sites, according to the official data.

The Prime Minister’s Disaster Relief Fund under the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers has mentioned that it released Rs 21.6 billion to the Ministry of Home Affairs to support earthquake victims.

Data available with the financial administrative section of the MoHA shows that it disbursed Rs 5.58 billion to 21 quake-hit districts earlier this week to provide each household with Rs 10,000 to make arrangements to stay warm in the winter months. “MoHA has already channelised Rs 21.6 billion to ministries and district administration offices to support the quake victims,” an official at the ministry said.

The Social Welfare Council, which is assigned to monitor activities of the international and national non-governmental organisations, revealed that it received update from less than 180 I/NGOs who claimed they had spent Rs 6 billion in the quake-affected districts.

Nearly 80 INGOs claimed that they spent Rs 4.54 billion in 30 districts to support quake-hit families, according to SWC’s member secretary Rabindra Kumar Yadav. More than 200 INGOs are now active in the country.

Though there are more than 40,000 NGOs registered with SWC, less than 100 submitted their report to the council on their expenditure on relief and rescue activities. “NGOs claim that they spent Rs 1.52 billion rupees to provide relief to the victims in districts in the aftermath of devastating quake,” he said.

While the Commission for the Investigation of Abuse of Authority has already pointed out irregularities in government agencies, including the Ministry for Urban Development, in utilising relief fund, the SWC has also received a number of complaints against I/NGOs for allegedly making fake claims without doing anything on the ground.

“SWC has been investigating into more than 10 cases of irregularities allegedly committed by I/NGOs,” SWC’s member secretary said.

According to government statistics, over 8,700 persons were killed and 22,000 were injured after April 25 earthquake and its May 12 aftershock affected 39 districts, leaving more than half a million houses completely or partially damaged.

The post-disaster need assessment report of the government has put the loss incurred due to the earthquake at Rs 706,461 million.