January 12: The Chinese government has joined hands with UNDP Nepal to provide USD 4 million to support recovery efforts in Nepal’s tarai region affected by one of the worst floods in the recent history. The assistance provided under the framework of the Chinese South Asia Cooperation Assistance Fund, will reach 31,800 households in Sunsari, Saptari, Sarlahi, Dhanusha, Mahottari, Rautahat and Parsa districts of provinces 1 and 2, reads a statement issued by UNDP Nepal.
According to UNDP Nepal, this assistance has come as a response to the extensive damage and displacement caused by the 2017 floods in the southern plains of the country. In August last year, the tarai region experienced the heaviest rainfall recorded in the past 60 years, resulting in widespread flooding across 35 districts, taking the lives of 134 people, destroying over 43,000 houses, partially damaging 192,000 houses, and displacing tens of thousands of people. Over 80 percent of land in the southern tarai region was inundated, according to UNDP Nepal. A post-flood assessment conducted by the Government of Nepal found that 1.7 million people were affected by the disaster.
The project funded by China and implemented by UNDP will work in close coordination with the Government of Nepal’s Flood Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Project under the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) through which the recovery package was finalized and beneficiary households were identified, the statement further says.
At the field level, the project will collaborate with newly elected governments in carrying out the distribution of a package of non-food items, which includes shawls, blankets, cooking utensils, an insecticide-treated bed net, a clean cooking stove, a water filter and hygiene kits.
“The Government of Nepal would like to thank the People’s Republic of China for providing crucial post-flood recovery support to the affected people of Nepal,” said Dr Suman Kumar Karna, project chief of Flood Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Project at NRA.
Chinese Ambassador to Nepal Yu Hong expressed satisfaction at being able to contribute to the post-flood recovery. “Last August, the Chinese government provided USD 1 million grant assistance to the Government of Nepal for flood disaster relief. This time, we offer another USD 4 million to help the Nepali people in the flood affected tarai region recover from the disaster. We are glad to work together with UDNP to provide this recovery package, which includes some basics that are certain to prove handy in a post-flood situation, ” said the Chinese ambassador.
To ensure efficiency and transparency of the distribution process, UNDP is using a mobile app, developed with technical support from Microsoft that enables project staff to work seamlessly through multiple distribution channels and track the progress against set targets, using a unified database of beneficiaries. Details of individual households are recorded in the system and the heads of the households are provided with a QR card, which they must present when collecting their packages at the nearest distribution centre.
“We are pleased to partner with the Government of the People’s Republic of China in contributing to the recovery of flood affected families,” said UNDP Country Director Renaud Meyer. “We trust these packages of essential non-food items will help flood victims resume their livelihoods and recover rapidly from the disaster.”