Aid irregularities leave victims high and dry: Panel

- BHADRA SHARMA, Kathmandu

Jun 7, 2015-

Many earthquake victims, especially those living in remote areas, have still not received food and emergency supplies as a result of irregularities in relief distribution, states a report of the High-level Administration Reform and Monitoring Committee.

According to the report prepared based on the field inspection of the earthquake-affected districts, relief materials have mostly reached those people who have connections with local politicians, while many victims living in remote areas have not received any help.

The committee, led by former Administrative Court Chairman Kashi Raj Dahal, has concluded that relief materials are being heavily misused in the absence of one-door distribution policy.

Political meddling is rampant in relief distribution, so much so that some people with close ties with local politicians are collecting relief supplies on  daily basis.

The report further mentions that the increasing cases of fake victims and repeat registrants have also hindered the aid works.

To pocket the government announced cash relief, even those people who did not suffer any loss in the earthquake have been found registering their names as the victims, says the report.

Cases of joint families splitting to claim more cash relief are also common.

Distribution of cash relief has become difficult since the number of quake-affected families has risen dramatically as compared to the latest census data.

In Nuwakot, for instance, more than 76,000 families have come forward claiming to be the earthquake victims, though the 2012 census had  put the number of families in the district at 59,000. Going by the figures, 17,000 new families cropped up in Nuwakot in three years.   

Because of this discrepancy, the local administration has been unable to distribute ID cards and cash relief to the victims.

Other quake-affected districts, including Dolakha, Sindhupalchok, Dhading and Rasuwa, are distributing the ID and cash relief regardless of the inconsistency.

Concerned by the irregularities taking place in relief distribution, the Home Ministry has instructed the district administration offices to investigate into the matter and take action against guilty.

Such instruction was issued after the local administrations of the quake-hit districts reported that they were being pressured by local politicians to issue ID cards to all those registered as victims.

Published: 08-06-2015 07:21

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