The UK Department for International Development has announced vital funding support for earthquake preparedness in Nepal.
The UK’s new disaster preparedness programme will strengthen Government of Nepal’s disaster risk management policy and support improved building code compliance. It will scale up community-based activities to build the resilience of 4 million people to earthquakes and other disasters. It will reconstruct at least 162 schools damaged in the Sikkim earthquake in September 2011 and develop a national plan to improve the seismic safety of hospitals. DFID support will also improve preparedness for a national and international emergency response and train 4,000 volunteers across Nepal in search, rescue, and first aid. DFID will provide up to £17m (equivalent to Rs 2 billion) over four years.
According to British Embassy, Alan Duncan, MP, UK Minister of State for International Development visited Kathmandu, meeting with the Home Minister, and the National Emergency Operation Centre. He also met with the representatives from partner organizations who are working to increase disaster preparedness in Nepal.
Minister Duncan, who has been closely involved throughout the development of the new programme, said, “I have been extremely focused on the earthquake risk in Nepal since my first visit to Nepal as a UK Minister. An earthquake in Kathmandu has all the components of a cataclysmic tragedy. This is a risk that the UK cannot ignore.”
“I am very pleased to announce this package of UK funding to improve national disaster management and emergency response capacity and reduce the vulnerability of 4 million people to disasters. This is part of an increased focus on disasters as a new and vital part of DFID’s work. In Nepal and internationally, we should be asking ourselves now what we can do to help Nepal to reduce the risk.”