25 June 2015, Kathmandu / Geneva – The President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Mr Tadateru Konoé, has highlighted concerns over the approaching monsoon season in Nepal and stressed the need for an immediate increase in funding support for the country’s recovery, and for a community-led approach to prevent the worsening of an already dire situation.
Since the 7.8 Magnitude earthquake that struck the country on 25 April 2015, the Nepal Red Cross Society has been at the forefront of the response, deploying 7,900 volunteers from 50 district chapters across the country so far. This type of community-led approach – possible because of the extensive reach of the society’s network of volunteers and branches – will be critical in Nepal’s recovery efforts.
“Nepal is unique in its geographical landscape and that the affected villages are widely dispersed in remote areas. This response needs to be more tailored to the topography, village structures and local needs,” said Konoé. “There are hundreds of ‘micro-villages,’ remote areas with five to ten homes. The international community is here to support recovery, but it’s the local communities themselves, of which the Nepal Red Cross Society is a crucial member, who must drive this process as they are the ones who will be seeing it through to the end, ensuring that the needs of those most affected among them are met.”
The IFRC mobilized a major global response to support the work of the Nepal Red Cross Society in meeting the immediate and long-term needs of earthquake survivors. An appeal, totaling 85 million Swiss francs (93 million US dollars), will support 700,000 people over a period of 24 months. But with monsoon season just a few weeks away, the appeal is only 49 per cent covered.
While attending the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction, President Konoé said support was urgently needed.“It is a long, hard road to recovery, and the global community must not forget about the people of Nepal,” he said. “The needs are significant and will only increase with the start of the monsoon season. Additional funding is vital.”
In addition to his participation in the conference, Konoé met with Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koriala, representatives of governments, and members of the media during his visit. He also visited a distribution site run by the Nepal Red Cross Society where affected families received cash. An important tool for recovery, cash gives beneficiaries the dignity of making the decisions in prioritizing their own recovery needs.
In addition to focusing on the need for funding, Konoé advocated for the continued coordination of relief organizations to ensure Nepal’s recovery is sustainable.
The IFRC is supporting the Nepal Red Cross Recovery Framework, which is closely linked to the Government of Nepal’s recovery priorities. This framework takes a community-focused approach, placing priority considerations on beneficiary needs and focuses on the key recovery elements of safer shelter, health, hygiene and livelihoods, and embracing key disaster risk reductions.
“The IFRC is committed to supporting this framework and Nepal’s recovery,” Konoé said. “By building the capacity of our greatest resource – the Nepal Red Cross’ staff and volunteers and community members that have a finger on the pulse of Nepal’s needs — we can make sure the most affected and vulnerable populations are at the heart of this recovery process and that together, we build a stronger and more resilient Nepal.”
For further information, contact:
Niki Clark, IFRC Nepal communications delegate
Tel: + 977 980 39 14 8459 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dibya Raj Poudel, Nepal Red Cross Society, Communications Manager
Benoit Carpentier, IFRC public communication team leader, Geneva