Govt adopts one-door policy for relief distribution

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Aug 15, 2017-The government has adopted a one-door policy for distribution of relief materials in 

the flood and landslide affected areas, imposing restrictions on non-governmental agencies and individuals from dispensing support without coordination with the authorities.

The Natural Disaster and Rescue Committee (NDRC) led by Minister for Home Affairs Janardan Sharma has directed Chief Secretary Rajendra Kishor Chhetry and the concerned authorities to ensure that relief materials both in cash and kind are distributed under the supervision of the government authorities. 

A committee meeting on Monday also formed a Relief Collection Coordination Committee under Joint Secretary Kedar Neupane with a mandate to manage the relief materials. 

Anyone willing to support the victims of rain-induced disaster can provide tarpaulins, utensils, rice, salt, cooking oil and lentils as relief materials through the coordination committee, the ministry said. Similarly, one can deposit the cash donations into the Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund. 

“There are chances of uneven distribution if it is not channelised through the government authorities,” said Minister Sharma in the meeting where it was also decided not to collect old clothes, while strictly directing the coordination committee to ensure only new clothes are distributed to the victims. 

Those in Kathmandu can submit their relief materials at the Thapathali-based Nepal Food Corporation and a humanitarian staging area at the Tribhuvan International Airport, according the ministry.  

Neupane told the Post that individuals or NGOs can directly distribute relief materials to the victims after acquiring permission from the chief district officer of the respective districts. He claimed that the decision was taken to avoid duplication in aid distribution to certain areas while many more victims struggle for relief in others. 

The District Disaster Relief Committees led by the respective CDOs will keep track of relief distributions in the entire district on daily basis and the relief will be channelised accordingly.

The government officials say the decision was taken based on the lesson learnt in the immediate aftermath of the Gorkha Earthquake in 2015 when the relief distributed by the non-government actors was centralised in the areas accessible by the roads, while people in the remote areas were left without any relief. 

The NDRC meeting took the decision as many individuals and non-government bodies expedite relief collection in different parts of the country. 

The leaders from the non-government sector maintain that there is nothing wrong asking the non-government actors to coordinate with the government authority for the distribution. 

“However, it has to be ensured that the government mechanism is effective in relief distribution,” said Jit Ram Lama, the treasurer at NGO Federation Nepal, an umbrella body of the NGOs in the country. He claimed that the similar policy, employed by the government in the aftermath of the 2o15 quake, had failed spectacularly.

Published: 15-08-2017 07:38

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