US$2 million P2P project concludes contributing towards Nepal's recovery efforts

By Laxman Datt Pant

US$2 million P2P project concludes contributing towards Nepal's recovery efforts

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) announced on December 21 that a two-year US$2 million project entitled ‘People to People Support for Building Community Resilience through Recovery and Reconstruction in Nepal (P2P)’ has concluded and has contributed towards the country’s recovery efforts. The project, implemented to aid the recovery and reconstruction efforts of Nepal following the earthquake in 2015, concluded on an exceptionally successful note, the IOM stated.

Funded by the Royal Thai Government, the project was implemented by IOM Nepal along with the Urban Development, Home Affairs, Federal Affairs and General Administration ministries of Nepal and the selected municipalities and rural municipalities of Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Dhading, Dolakha, Sindhpalchowk, the Rasuwa districts of Bagmati province and the Gorkha district of Gandaki province. These districts were among those worst affected when the 7.8 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal on April 25, 2015 killing almost 9,000 people.

The project aligned with Nepal’s National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy (NDRRP) and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act (DRRM) which have constructed eight earthquake-resistant multi-purpose community centers in the eight districts worst hit by the earthquake. These centers are expected to prioritize the most vulnerable people affected by any future disaster including pregnant women, children, people with special needs, and the elderly, and will also offer immediate safe shelter to those in need. In normal times, these centers will serve as venues for community and municipal activities – for community-based training, recreational pursuits, information dissemination, income-generating initiatives, and as a safe activity space for women and youth.

  • The project has assisted local authorities in the identification and mapping a total of 32 open spaces that can be used for life-saving activities at the onset of disaster.
  • It has reached more than 5,000 local people – including youths and women, and those in decision making positions – to raise awareness about the protection of open spaces.
  • A module on open spaces has been added to the Building Information Platform against Disaster (BIPAD), owned by the Government of Nepal. BIPAD will display information on open spaces in 13 municipalities, identified and verified by the IOM in coordination with local and federal governments in the Bagmati, Gandaki and Lumbini provinces.
  • Training has been conducted for a total of 77 elected representatives and municipal officials on disaster risk reduction and management and technical support in developing a draft disaster management fund mobilization guideline.
  • The project also distributed a total of 13 publications, including Open Space Map Atlases of identified open spaces, in all eight municipalities. These include details regarding the selection criteria that can be used by local governments to enhance disaster preparedness and raise awareness regarding where to resort to in case of a disaster.

Reiterating that the IOM, as the global migration agency, brings a unique perspective and added value to global efforts in reducing disaster risk and building resilience, Lorena Lando, Chief of Mission at IOM Nepal said:

“Nepal is recognized as the 20th most disaster-prone country in the world. It is crucial for us to be prepared to provide humanitarian assistance to displaced populations and to build resilience to better respond at times of natural disasters.” The IOM stands ready to support all three tiers of government of Nepal to reduce disaster risks and assist vulnerable communities and migrants in building a disaster-resilient society, she added.

Congratulating the IOM for successfully accomplishing the project, Vosita Vorasaph, the Ambassador of Thailand to Nepal, said “The assistance from the Thai people to the Nepalese in their recovery efforts reflects that Thailand always values its bond with Nepal”.

Surendra Mohan Shrestha, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Urban Development of Nepal, thanked the Government of Thailand for its support to Nepal in building communities that were now more resilient to disasters following the earthquake 2015.

It is of note that, in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes, in 2018 the Government of Thailand and the IOM Nepal stepped up to support the efforts of the Government of Nepal towards sustainable recovery and construction. This support was aimed at reducing the challenges the country has faced due to natural hazard-related disasters and the subsequent displacements whilst building the resilience of communities in the face of future disasters.