The Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC) and the World Food Program (WFP) met at the Humanitarian Staging Area (HSA) to discuss sustainable methods to work together on better preparedness for crises.
“The consultation brought together representatives from the Government, Chief of Missions from various embassies, donors as well as the UN agencies, with the aim of discussing how the humanitarian community can work together to prepare for future emergencies,” said press release issued by WFP.
While opening the event, the Joint Secretary for Policy Division of Ministry of Home Affairs, Kedar Neupane said: “the coordination between the National Emergency Operation Center, the Ministry of Home Affairs, WFP and the Logistics Cluster was excellent during the earthquake emergency. It allowed us to handle, store and dispatch humanitarian relief such as tarpaulins, blankets, food and medication to the earthquake-affected areas in a very efficient manner. As Nepal is prone to disasters, the Government of Nepal is committed to working with stakeholders on developing a sustainable emergency and preparedness model.”
More than 88,800 cubic meters of humanitarian relief cargo including food, medication, emergency shelters and sanitation equipment was handled on behalf of 164 agencies at the HSA after the Nepal earthquakes in April 2015. The HSA proved instrumental in quickly handling and processing relief material arriving through Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA), accelerating the response and saving lives. A study by the Boston Consulting Group estimates that the establishment of HSA saved at least three weeks of response time after the quake.
“This initiative, by thinking ahead, saved 8 weeks of confusion and coordination at the airport which implied that humanitarian goods were moved quickly, saving lives” said Gail Marzetti, Head of DFID Nepal.
“Nepal is among the top ten most disaster-affected countries in the world, both in terms of mortality and number of events,” said Valerie Julliand, United Nations Resident Coordinator. “The collaboration of the Government, civil society actors and the international community through the Logistics Cluster during the Nepal earthquake is seen as a model to be replicated across Nepal,” she added.
“Meeting here at the HSA with our partners and stakeholders, we see the concrete evidence of how we can do better when we all work together. There’s no doubt that a collaborative approach is best for the people we serve – and in an emergency it can save lives. The next step now is to find a sustainable way forward to keep the HSA going and to expand this model,” said Pippa Bradford, WFP Representative and Country Director.
WFP aims to create a collaborative partnership where the Government of Nepal, donors and the humanitarian community work together to strengthen Nepal’s preparedness. The sustainability model applied to the TIA-HSA will be replicated in other similar platforms in different strategic locations across Nepal, granting effectiveness and efficiency in response to any scale of emergency. With a vision of self-sustaining these critical platforms, WFP is offering an all-inclusive storage, training and workshop space facility at a full cost recovery basis.