1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Significant humanitarian needs remain in Nepal due to a combination of national and global factors: a particularly severe winter drought, ongoing civil and political tensions, chronic underlying vulnerabilities, and susceptibility to sudden-onset natural disasters, compounded by the global financial, fuel, and food crises of the recent months.
Food insecurity in Nepal is widespread and pervasive, and has resulted in some of the worst nutrition statistics in the world. More than 40% of the population is undernourished. Every other child under five is chronically malnourished, 39% are underweight, and 13% are wasted. In recent years the number of people facing hunger in Nepal has increased as a result of frequent and severe natural disasters combined with the effects of the food, fuel, and financial crises. In December 2008, 2.7 million people were identified as requiring urgent food assistance. Following a joint Government of Nepal and UN assessment undertaken in May 2009, an additional 707,000 individuals were identified as requiring urgent food assistance due to drought-induced failure of winter crops and high food prices.
Preparedness activities are an integral part of the Government and humanitarian strategy to avert and mitigate loss of life and livelihoods. In Nepal, high risk and vulnerability to hazards such as earthquakes, floods, and landslides adds to the humanitarian challenge and calls for immediate action and funding by the donor community to implement measures to alleviate the impact of sudden-onset emergencies.
Major political issues remain unresolved despite successful Constituent Assembly (CA) elections held in April 2008. A political crisis within the ruling Government Coalition in April/May 2009 saw the resignation of Prime Minister Puspa Kamal Dahal "Prachanda" on 4 May, ending the nine-month-old government. A new Prime Minister was elected by the Legislature-Parliament (boycotted by the UCPN-Maoists) on 23 May. A coalition government of 22 political parties is currently being established. Slow progress in appointments to the new Council of Ministers and potential re-shuffling of senior civil servants will affect the pace of Government business. It remains unclear whether these changes will affect the timetable for the preparation of the new Constitution.
In addition, the country is faced with prolonged disruptions in the movement of goods due to intermittent unrest in Terai-Madhes, daily electricity cuts lasting up to 16 hours, and deteriorating labour relations. With weak institutions and widespread impunity, growing lawlessness remains a threat in parts of the country. This threat exists against a backdrop of nutrition and morbidity indicators that remain at emergency levels.
To date the response to the Appeal across sectors/clusters has been uneven. The Food Security Cluster is 62% funded, whilst the 12 other sectors/clusters and sub-sectors combined are only 17% funded. During the Mid-Year Review (MYR) consultations, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) agreed that the three priorities set at the beginning of the year were still valid (Response, Preparedness and Partnership). However, to stabilize the humanitarian situation, projects for food assistance to the food- insecure and disaster preparedness activities to respond to seasonal monsoon-induced floods and landslides should be given priority.
As a result of the drought in the Mid- and Far West, the 2009 Nepal Humanitarian Transition Appeal has been revised upwards by US$1 30 million to $145 million (from the original $115 million). To date, $74 million in funding has been reported, leaving unmet requirements of $71 million. The revised amount represents increases attributed to the addition of 12 new and revised projects, mainly to cover additional food security needs. A number of other budgets have been decreased due to the reduced implementation period remaining in 2009. The donor community is encouraged to give urgent consideration to the appeal projects that remain un- or under-funded.
KEY ACHIEVEMENTS IN PRIORITY AREAS
Response to humanitarian needs: Despite resource constraints, conflict- and disaster-affected communities have been provided with humanitarian support. Some 1.05 million food-insecure people in 35 districts received food assistance. The Koshi flood caseloads of over 70,000 IDPs were supported in camps until their recent return to their pre-flood communities. Relief activities are now predominantly focused on recovery and reconstruction. A residual camp caseload of approximately 500 families will need further humanitarian support. Flood-affected families in the Mid-Western and Far Western regions also continued to receive assistance. Support was provided to 96,000 Bhutanese refugees while 7,000 were resettled to third countries between January and May.
Increased emergency preparedness: The Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) contingency plan based on cluster response plans was revised and tested in an emergency simulation exercise in April. This was followed by a Government-hosted International Search and Rescue Advisory Group (INSARAG) earthquake exercise, resulting in support for the establishment of an Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) for disaster management in Kathmandu. Rapid Response Health teams at the national and community levels were strengthened and emergency health kits were pre-positioned in regional and district offices. Reproductive health kits were pre-positioned in 14 districts and individual hygiene kits were pre-positioned in six districts. A number of trainings on SPHERE standards and Camp Management and Coordination were conducted, focusing on collaboration by all partners on emergency preparedness.
Promote principles of partnership: The Government-hosted INSARAG exercise significantly strengthened national and regional partnerships. An Emergency Nutrition Task Force led by the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) was established to coordinate emergency nutrition preparedness and response with relevant stakeholders from the Ministry and international humanitarian agencies. An emergency education work plan for 2009 was completed and textbook shortages in flood-affected areas were addressed. The Government's food security monitoring capacity was enhanced through training and assessments.
Challenges and constraints: The fragile political environment and frequent transfer of senior civil servants over the last six months caused delays in decision-making processes at central and district levels, sometimes with serious implications for humanitarian operations. Constraints on 'operational space and access' due to the frequency and intensity of protracted strikes and blockades, from groups pressing the Government to meet specific demands or furthering their political objectives as the federalism debate picked up, also constrained the delivery of essential humanitarian support and the initiation of early recovery activities. Inconclusive negotiations between the Government and armed groups also led to an increase in extortion demands and threats of abductions against humanitarian partners.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
KEY ACHIEVEMENTS IN PRIORITY AREAS
Table I. Summary of requirements, commitments/contributions and pledges (grouped by sector/cluster)
Table II. Summary of requirements, commitments/contributions and pledges (grouped by appealing organisation)
2. CHANGES IN THE CONTEXT, HUMANITARIAN NEEDS, AND RESPONSE
3. RESPONSE TO DATE, UPDATED STRATEGY AND RESPONSE PLANS
3.1 FUNDING ANALYSIS
3.2 UPDATED SECTOR/CLUSTER RESPONSE PLANS
3.2.1 Food Security
3.2.3 Camp Management and Camp Coordination (CCCM)
3.2.4 Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH)
3.2.8 Disaster Preparedness
3.2.9 Emergency Education
ANNEX I. FULL PROJECT LIST AND FUNDING TABLES
Table III. Appeal Projects grouped by sector/cluster (with hyperlinks to open full project details)
Table IV. Total funding per donor (to projects listed in the Appeal)
Table V. Total humanitarian assistance per donor (Appeal plus other*)
Table VI. List of commitments/contributions and pledges to projects not listed in the Appeal
Table VII. Summary of requirements, commitments/contributions and pledges (grouped by IASC standard sector)
ANNEX II. ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS
Please note that appeals are revised regularly. The latest version of this document is available on http://www.humanitarianappeal.net.
Full project details can be viewed, downloaded and printed from www.reliefweb.int/fts.
Note: The full text of this appeal is available on-line in Adobe Acrobat (pdf) format and may also be downloaded in zipped MS Word format.
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