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17 Jul 2015 | Press releases

Resilient livelihoods must be at the core of Nepal’s reconstruction

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The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), in collaboration with the National Planning Commission, Government of Nepal, today launched the ‘Strategic Framework for Resilient Livelihoods in Earthquake- Affected Areas of Nepal’. 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 Framework outlines some key elements that should be included in a livelihood recovery strategy. These are:

Creating an enabling policy and institutional environment
Engaging and coordinating diverse stakeholders
Strengthening the skills and capacity of affected people
Tapping the potential of internal and external job markets
Facilitating structural transformation from low to high productivity sectors
Ensuring gender equality and social inclusion by integrating women and marginalized groups
Promoting community empowerment
Integrating ecosystem and biodiversity conservation into the livelihood recovery process
Revitalizing farming and tourism sectors
Revitalizing micro, small, and medium enterprises
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, on 17 July 2015, 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. While Dr Mishra and ICIMOD’s Livelihoods Theme Leader Dr Golam Rasul spoke about the highlights of the Framework, Dr Paudyal gave feedback on behalf of the four reviewers of the document. ICIMOD’s Director Programme Operations Dr Eklabya Sharma during the vote of thanks said that the framework has short, medium and long-term perspectives and potential benefits for the reconstruction.

The launch was followed by a presentation on ‘Nepal Earthquake 2015: Disaster Relief and Recovery Information Platform’ (NDRRIP; http://geoapps.icimod.org/ndrrip/) by ICIMOD’s Director of Strategic Cooperation Basanta Shrestha. Developed by ICIMOD in close collaboration with Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs and with technical support from Esri, the Platform was formally integrated by the Ministry of Home Affairs as part of its own ‘Nepal DRR Portal’. The Platform acts as a unified information hub for use by regional and global partners including space agencies, UN organizations, donor agencies, academic and research organizations, relief organizations, local NGOs, private sector organizations, and civil society.

The Platform was designed to deliver timely, credible, and actionable data and information to support earthquake relief and recovery operations and the reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts of the Government of Nepal.

For more information please contact:

Dr Golam Rasul
Theme Leader, Livelihoods, ICIMOD
Tel +977-1-5003222
Email: golam.rasul@icimod.org

Ms Nira Gurung
Senior Communications Officer, ICIMOD
Tel +977-1-5003222
Email: nira.gurung@icimod.org

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