National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management ready for approval

Apr 3, 2008

National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management ready for approval

The first ever draft of the National Strategy for Disaster Risk Management in Nepal (NSDRMN) is ready and awaits government’s final endorsement. A joint event with the Ministry of Home Affairs was organised to acknowledge the completion of the draft as a mile-stone towards achieving the goal of `Disaster Resilient Nepal’. 

Under the leadership of the Ministry of Home Affairs, this draft document was prepared with financial support of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Department (DG ECHO), UNDP, and technical support of National Society for Earthquake Technology (NSET). 

During the event, Mr. Umesh Prasad Mainali, Secretary of the Ministry of Home Affairs, thanked UNDP for its supportive role in preparing this comprehensive document. He said that the Ministry of Home Affairs will follow-up on the finalization and approval of the document as soon as possible. “We are good in search and rescue but weak in disaster preparedness and recovery, hence this strategy will serve as an important tool”, he said. 

Followed by a series of thematic workshops, it took only 17 months to prepare the NSDRMN with the active involvement of a large number of stakeholders, including representatives of relevant government agencies, donors, UN agencies, I/NGOs, corporate sector, academia, media and community representatives. 

Nepal is ranked 11th in the world in terms of vulnerability to earthquakes and 30th with respect to floods according to a 2004 study undertaken by UNDP/Bureau of Crisis Prevention and Recovery. In 2007, about 69 percent of the country’s 75 districts were affected by floods and landslides, mostly in the Tarai (plains) and mid-hills causing 148 reported deaths and 24,116 displacements.

The document provides guidance for improving the policy and legal environment by prioritizing strategic interventions required for disaster preparedness. The strategy addresses Nepal’s long-felt need to come up with a long term policy document and build on all the disaster reduction planning and implementation works that has been carried out in the country, especially after the commencement of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (1990-1999). 

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