Nepal is a mountainous country with high peaks, steep slopes and rugged terrain. It also has a fragile geomorphic condition and volatile tectonic processes which leads to variable climatic conditions which expose it to multiple hazards, most prominently earthquakes, floods, landslides, fires, avalanches, storms and cold waves. Moreover, high population growth, poor economic condition, unplanned settlement, low literacy rate and challenging topography have enhanced the vulnerability. Nepal ranks 11th most vulnerable country for earthquakes and 30th for floods in the world. Thousands of people are affected every year by floods and landslides, which hit the country on a recurring basis. In the last eight years, 2,206 people died as a result of natural disasters in Nepal. Climate change has also become another burning issue for the country. In 2008, about 72,000 people were displaced by the Koshi floods that hit the eastern Terai and flash floods in the western region of the country. The Kathmandu valley in particular is at high risk from earthquakes. The situation is worsened by rapid urbanization, related urban planning problems and poor infrastructure (including poor public health and disaster management services), which increase the vulnerability of people during disaster and nondisaster times.
Successful elections were held in April 2008 and power was transformed peacefully from monarchism to a democratic republic system. However, the peace process - including the drafting of the Constitution for the new Republic - has been slow, while the expectation of the people is high. Frequent strikes and blockades called by different agitation groups and sporadic violence such as kidnapping, assassination and bomb blasting have affected people all over the country. The severe power shortages, price hike in the essential commodities like rice, vegetables and pulses, and the significant economic downturn has contributed to the human suffering in the country. The 2008-2009 winter drought in Nepal was the worst on record, and affected 1.5 million people in the mid- and farwestern regions of Nepal. An estimated 700,000 people required immediate food support provided by the World Food Programme. In addition, the global financial crisis has continued to reduce demands for migrant workers, which has a negative effect on remittances.
In this context, the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) being the largest humanitarian organization in the country, provides assistance to the most vulnerable population through its 75 district chapters (district branches), 1,363 sub-chapters (sub-branches), 4,858 junior/youth circles, more than 200,000 trained volunteers and 1,020,000 members. The national society is currently operating under its fifth development plan for 2008-2010.
The International Federation has committed to support the NRCS with funds and technical inputs to achieve the goals defined under the NRCS's fifth development plan (2008-2010), which is aligned with the International Federation's Global Agenda goals: disaster management, health and care in the community, promotion of Fundamental Principles and humanitarian values, and capacity building. In addition to the core programme areas, the NRCS seeks support in establishing a management support mechanisms, with one priority of building further capacity of its planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting (PMER) unit.
With the support of the International Federation, the NRCS will focus on disaster risk reduction (DRR), HIV and organizational development with volunteer management. Diversity/ social inclusion and gender, as well as humanitarian values are cross-cutting issues in all its programmes. The International Federation will continue to support community based disaster risk reduction programme (CBDRR) and the harmonization of DRR approaches through its Global Alliance on DRR; it will further enhance the NRCS's capacity for disaster preparedness, especially in the areas of contingency planning, emergency shelter, emergency water and sanitation, and recovery. In addition, the International Federation plans to continue its support for the community-based first aid, HIV, and pandemic preparedness programmes including preparedness for a possible outbreak of influenza A/H1N1.
The programmatic priorities are supported by the new operating models, the Global Alliance on DRR and HIV, and the "lighter" Operational Alliance for organizational development and disaster risk reduction. The Operational Alliance for the community development programme has been running since the beginning of 2008 and motivated other departments to start a harmonization process.
Activities in humanitarian values will specifically aim to address the complex social context, state of agitation and the post-conflict situation of Nepal, while the volunteer management component will include youth, diversity/social inclusion and gender development to empower young people, women and marginalized people to be part of the decision-making process in their communities and at all levels of the national society. For the newly-established management support mechanisms at the NRCS, funding is needed in the areas of planning, monitoring, evaluation and reporting, human resource management, as well as for the setting up a new unit for resource mobilization and marketing.
This plan targets to reach approximately 880,300 persons over two years, including:
- disaster management: 270,000 persons (129,600 male and 140,400 female),
- health and care: 489,300 persons (195,780 male and 293,520 female),
- organizational development: 101, 000 persons (56,000 male and 45,000 female), and
- humanitarian values: 20,000 persons (10,000 male and 10, 000 female).
The total budget for 2010 is CHF 1,590,543 (USD 1.54 million or EUR 1.04 million) and for 2011 is CHF 1,718,022 (USD 1.66 million or EUR 1.13 million).