Humanitarian efforts and aid programmes are being questioned

‘The multiple threats to food and nutrition security, their negative and cumulative impact, and the clear link between shocks and hunger reveal the fragility of current food production systems and their vulnerability to disasters’ – FAO, 2013

Nepal is one of the vulnerable seismic zones and disaster prone area situated between Eurasia and Indian plate. The country was hit by the major earthquake of 7.8 magnitudes in 25th April 2015 and following aftershocks of 7.3 magnitudes on 12 May 2015, killed 9000 people, injured 22000 and physically lost US$10 billion. More than 600,000 damaged homes need to be reconstructed partially or fully. The International community has pledged to provide aid equivalent $4.1 billion. Nepalese diaspora has also been donating a huge amount of cash and materials. Beside the huge positive response from donors, the victims even after two years, have not been assisted. The grief of the victim has not been heard so they are helpless and so-called ‘politics’ has turned its head back to a different issue of ‘helping people’! Oh, leaving earthquake victims helpless, and helping to whom? A bizarre scene of modern democracy!

Where has gone donation?

The GoN wanted all aid should be channelised through its government mechanism and promised ‘zero tolerance toward corruption’. However, donors were insisting a new independent autonomous institution to look after the relief and reconstruction packages as they had a fear of Haiti’s collapse reconstruction after 7.0 magnitude earthquake in 2010. In the name of making an autonomous powerful institution, after 9 months of the earthquake, the bill for the Nepal Reconstruction Authority (NRA) was passed by parliament. The NRA has started to distribute first instalment amount NRs 50,000 (equivalent to £374.73) for the victim family. NRA set a term and condition that second instalment is provided after submitting the proof of home construction work has been started. However, the victims openly disclosed (BBC Nepali Service- Sajha Sawal) that the money was spent (first instalment) to buy food, clothes and other basic needs instead of starting the major reconstruction work. Despite having approaches around the Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR), resilience and food security and huge efforts to provide the assistance in time and need, the relief programme in Nepal has been collapsed. Why are such big humanitarian efforts and aid programmes are being questioned, instead of helping disaster victims in time and need!

The capable and resilient systems is an important approach to recover disruptive events and its negative effects to vulnerable communities. Mass of literature believes that a resilient system ‘bounce back’ quickly. In most cases it is ‘bounce forwards’ too, that is taken as a positive impact of the disaster in some reasons if the shocks have been dealt properly. The argument is ‘Disaster recovery activities are an opportunity to integrate disaster resilience into communities by adopting a building back better concept’. Unfortunately, this is not happening in the case of Nepal.’ This gap between theory and practice in Nepalese scenarios must be analysed in line with country’s unique nature of landlocked, open border with a giant neighbour, a country like a yam between two boulders, a country which has huge potentiality of natural resources despite a shortages in neighbours and a hidden agenda i.e. ‘governance of aid, trade and security’ (Paul Collier) of globalisation.

 

 

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