Nepal: Floods Appeal No. 17/2004 Final Report


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In Brief

Appeal No. 17/2004; Final Report; Period covered: 27 July 2004 to June 2005; Final appeal coverage: 98.5%.

Appeal history:

  • Launched on 27 July 2004 for CHF 2,767,360 (USD 2,193,457 or EUR 1,802,246) for six months to assist 180,000 beneficiaries.

  • The budget was revised down to CHF 2,026,765 (as per Operations Update 7). The appeal timeframe was extended to nine months (see Operations Update 7) and then further extended to eleven months (see Operations Update 9). This meant the operation timeframe was 27 July 2004 to end June 2005.

  • Disaster Relief Emergency Funds (DREF) allocated: CHF 50,000. Related Emergency or Annual Appeals: Nepal Annual Appeal 05AA048

Background and Summary

Heavy rains which began in early July 2004 resulted in widespread flooding and landslides, causing suffering to thousands of people in the eastern and central regions of the country. Over 740,000 people in 24 of Nepal's 75 districts were affected. The reported death toll reached 185 and at the height of the disaster, more than 200,000 people were displaced.

The operation successfully achieved its goals. The emergency relief phase was completed by the beginning of November, 2004. Over this period, more than 30,000 families received a family package with basic kitchen utensils and clothes. Out of these 30,000 families, 15,000 were provided with plastic sheeting to protect their goods, food and clothing. Likewise, 15,000 families with contaminated water sources received water purification liquid. Volunteers in the affected districts were also mobilized for sanitation activities, especially for cleaning up wells.

Food assistance was also provided during the emergency phase. District chapters raised food items locally and distributed to the needy. Approximately 8,000 families received food assistance as a result of the local resource mobilization effort. With funding from this appeal 1,000, mainly single-head vulnerable families , received food items covering their mid-term needs.

During the rehabilitation phase 1,800 families in 12 districts were provided with construction materials to reconstruct/repair their houses. The same families were also given vegetable seeds to be used in kitchen gardens for supplementary food and cash income. A further 3,100 families in five districts were provided with similar support through funding made available from CARE Nepal.

During the operation Nepal continued to be affected by the ongoing armed conflict and political instability. In February the government was dismissed by the King and a state of emergency was in place from 1 February to 30 April 2005. There were frequent blockades and strikes during this period. Despite these difficulties, the Nepa l Red Cross Society (NRCS) was able to access all the disaster -affected areas, carrying out assessments and delivering assistance.

The national society was the only humanitarian organization able to gather information from all affected districts in the country. Even the government acknowledged the Red Cross was the most comprehensive and credible source of information relating to affected districts. In most instances, NRCS was the first organization to reach affected areas and provide people with relief. This was possible due to the good standing the national society has among the public and various parties to the conflict in terms of neutrality, impartiality and independence. However, bandhs (strikes) and blockades etc led to some unavoidable delays in activities such as tendering and purchasing of food, and restocking and transportation of construction materials. These delays wer e responsible in part for the operation being extended from six to 11 months.

A participatory action learning study was conducted in Bangladesh, India and Nepal looking at the respective 2004 monsoon flood operations. The Nepal study was based on field visits conducted in September and October 2004 and was published in early 2005. It is available on request from the Federation. The study included consultations with communities, and NRCS staff members and volunteers at both the local and national levels contributed to a lessons learning process. The reports findings underline the national society's strengths in its extensive network and neutral/independent standing, and how these facilitate its ability to reach all communities, even in a conflict environment. The value of the community-based disaster preparedness (CBDP) programme is also borne out in the report. Communities who were prepared were able to respond, evacuate and save lives far more effectively than those where the programme had not been conducted.

Some of the key lessons learned in the study include:

  • Timely and proper information facilitate effective response;

  • The first relief can be delivered at the same time as assessments are done;

  • Community level preparedness highly improves the response;

  • Volunteer mobilization and communication are key for effective actions ;

  • Coordination with other stakeholders should be further strengthened. The disaster preparedness network (DP-Net) was very active but can be made even more functional if additional players are involved.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Kathmandu: Badri Khanal, Executive Director Nepal Red Cross Society, email:, phone: +977 1 42 70 650; fax: + 977 1 42 71 915.

In Kathmandu: Nick Russell, Federation Representative, email:, phone: +977 1 42 85 843, fax: +977 1 42 86 048.

In New Delhi: Bob McKerrow, Head of Regional Delegation, South Asia, email:, phone +91 11 2685 8671, mobile +91 98 1000 1534.

In Geneva: Hiroto Oyama, Asia-Pacific Departm ent; email: ; phone: +41 22 730 4273, fax: +41 22 733 0395 or Nelly Khrabraya, email:, phone: +41 22 730 4306, fax: +41 22 733 0395

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at

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