Minister for Home Affairs Bam Dev Gautam inaugurated Humanitarian Staging Area (HSA) near the Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) on Thursday. HSAs are created to ease humanitarian relief and rescue operations at the time of crises and provide space to accommodate victims after the disaster.
The HSA at the TIA has been built with the financial support from the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) and implemented by the World Food Program (WFP).
Studies have stated that Nepal ranks in the 11th position in the world for earthquake risk and seismic records of the region suggests that large scale earthquake of over eight on the Richter-Scale occur every 75 years.
Speaking at the inauguration program, Minister Gautam stated that such stations should be established in the other areas of the country as well. Three additional HSAs are to be constructed at strategic location across the Valley, including Trubhuwan University premises, Nepal Agriculture Study Center (NARC) and at Bhaktapur under the same project, informed the WFP.
Expressing his belief for a successful operation of the HSA, Minister for Civil Aviation, Tourism and Culture Deepak Chandra Amatya considered the initiative as an important task.
WFP Assistant Executive Director and CFO, Manoj Juneja, said that the HSA will serve as the entry point of the humanitarian assistance during the disaster for emergency response. United Nations Resident Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick, DFID head of office Gail Marzetti, WFP country director Pippa Bradford described the HAS as a joint investment and collective effort of humanitarian aid agencies in Nepal.
The project will have telecommunications training programs, including simulations to enhance local capacity to manage logistical supply chains and emergency operations for security personnel and government officials.
The HSA has nearly 10, 000 cubic meters of storage space with the capacity to hold food supplies for more than 250,000 people for 30 days. It can also shelter for more than 94,000 people and hygiene and sanitation equipment for nearly 230,000 people, according to the WFP.