DFID Minister of State for International Development Desmond Swayne said that the Department for International Development (DFID) is a committed partner and friend of Nepal. “We are the largest bilateral development partner providing grant aid and we have been at the forefront of the humanitarian response to the devastating earthquakes,” said Desmond Swayne TD MP DFID, minister of State for International Development.
Reminding his last visit to Nepal in August he said that he witnessed the devastation and destruction first hand. According to minister DFID is providing more than £70 million in immediate relief to the earthquake-affected areas and to support early reconstruction. The British public has also generously donated more than £83 million in humanitarian assistance through the Disaster Emergency Committee appeal. This shows the strength of the bond between our two nations.
“I am increasingly concerned that the humanitarian crisis in Nepal is not over. Much needed humanitarian supplies are yet to reach many people still living in temporary shelter. The National Authority for Reconstruction – the key institution to accelerate reconstruction and help Nepal build back better – is still to be established. Winter is approaching and we need to act fast to avoid a second humanitarian crisis,” said minister of state for International Development.
“As we celebrate 200 years of partnership, the UK stands by the people of Nepal. I hope that current efforts to resolve difficulties affecting the supply and distribution of humanitarian goods can be resolved as quickly as possible. I also urge the Government of Nepal to formally establish the National Authority for Reconstruction.”
According to a press release issued by British Embassy, to date the UK has announced £70m of support to the Nepal earthquake response, targeted at the 14 most affected districts. £33m has been spent for immediate life saving humanitarian assistance, creating an enabling environment for delivery of rapid humanitarian response and early recovery support to transition from relief, recovery to reconstruction. £10m has been spent on delivering health support, and further financial commitments have been made to support early recovery activities.
He said that the UK Government humanitarian program is implemented by the Department for International Development (DFID Nepal) working closely with the Government of Nepal and other relief agencies and international organizations. He added that the UK's response to the earthquake seeks to achieve the overall impact of saving lives and alleviating suffering by providing assistance to those most affected. We achieve this by: i) providing direct assistance through technical expertise, goods in-kind or cash, and ii) supporting the enabling environment of wider humanitarian response through common logistics, donor coordination and needs assessment support.
“We have recently approved an additional £7.6m to continue humanitarian assistance efforts and to provide winterization packages to those in high altitude areas who are going to be most affected by the coming cold weather. This includes shelter support, blankets, mattresses and winter clothes,” said Minister for State.
Desmond Swayne TD MP was first appointed as Minister of State for International Development on 15 July 2014. Mr Swayne was again appointed as the Minister after winning the May 2015 UK General Elections. The Minister of State was previously a Government Whip and Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury and is the former Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Prime Minister. He is the Member of Parliament for the constituency of New Forest West, in Hampshire.