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3 Aug 2015 | News

Putting resilient livelihoods at the center

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The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), in collaboration with the National Planning Commission, Government of Nepal, launched the ‘Strategic Framework for Resilient Livelihoods in Earthquake- Affected Areas of Nepal’ on 17 July 2015. Written by 18 lead and contributing authors and reviewed by four senior scientists and policymakers, the Framework explores a range of strategic choices and options for developing resilient livelihoods in the aftermath of the 7.6-magnitude earthquake Nepal experienced in April 2015.

The earthquake and its subsequent aftershocks have had huge impacts for Nepal. The official death toll is now close to 9,000, with another 23,000 injured, more than 785,000 homes damaged or destroyed, and about 2.8 million people displaced. The total value of the damage and loss caused by the earthquake is estimated at USD 7 billion, which is equivalent to about a third of Nepal’s Gross Domestic Product. The total loss in the agriculture sector, the main source of livelihood in most earthquake-affected areas, is estimated at around NPR 28.4 billion. The earthquake has affected the overall economic situation in the production and service sectors, such as agriculture, livestock, tourism, trade, and industry.

Against this reality, the Framework offers a roadmap to restore, revive, and revitalize livelihoods and the country’s economy. It argues that recovery of livelihoods must be the top priority in the reconstruction process. It states that a long-term strategy for the transition from reconstruction and restoration to sustainable livelihoods that are more resilient to future disasters is needed.

Launching the Framework, Prof Govind Raj Pokharel, Vice-Chair of the National Planning Commission, said a livelihood recovery strategy must not only redress the damage caused by the earthquake, but it must also help build the resilience of communities to future shocks.

“This Framework will be beneficial to the Government of Nepal and other development agencies in streamlining development efforts in the process of rebuilding the nation,” he said. “We are pleased to work with ICIMOD on the development of the livelihood recovery strategy; more specifically, the Government thanks the Centre for its immediate support to the national rescue and relief operations in the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal earthquake.”

The Director General of ICIMOD, Dr David Molden, said that the Framework has been prepared primarily to provide insights into how to restore, revive, and revitalize livelihoods focusing on the various socioeconomic challenges towards a strategic framework for designing and implementing actions, particularly those in the hills and mountain areas. “This paper aims to complement the Post Disaster Needs Assessment of the Government of Nepal by providing insights into the livelihood dimensions of the earthquake and its socioeconomic and livelihood impacts,” he said.

The Framework was launched at Hotel Yak and Yeti, Kathmandu, and was attended by representatives of development agencies based in Kathmandu and senior officials of the Government of Nepal, including two other members of the National Planning Commission, Dr Bhartendu Mishra and Dr Bimala Rai Paudyal.

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