UK Minister announces Rs 2 billion for earthquake preparedness in Nepal
British Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan has announced 17 million pound sterling (approx. Rs 2 billion) vital funding support for earthquake preparedness in Nepal. The amount will be made available through the Department for International Development (DFID) over the period of four years.
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. The aid will also be spent for reconstruction of 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 and rescue and first aid.
“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," Duncan said.
He added, “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.”