A. Summary of the response
With the winter season here in Nepal (October to March), the winter needs of earthquake affected people, particularly those living in transitional shelter substantially increased. In response, Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS), with support from the Movement partners launched cash distribution to meet the needs of the people in 16 target districts. Partner National Societies (PNS) identified 10 districts which they would target for seasonal relief. The IFRC in consultation with the PNS in country and the NRCS supported six districts namely, Dhading, Dolakha, Gorkha, Ramechhap, Okhaldunga and Sindhuli ensuring the one plan of NRCS is followed. The number of people to be reached was 53,506 families (267,530 people), of which IFRC’s target was 15,000 families (75,000 people) through this Emergency Appeal. A total of NPR 10,000 was distributed to targeted families through cash in envelopes or through cheques. Data received to date indicates that a total of 49,658 families (93 per cent of the target) have been reached. The distributions ended in early January 2016. It is worth mentioning that this achievement has been noted by other humanitarian actors and the NRCS cash distribution has set a new level of achievement using this option for Nepal.
Seasonal relief was as an extension of the relief activities undertaken in the aftermath of the disaster. It was also an opportunity to strengthen the capacity of the National Society in cash distributions further supporting a strong base for the planned recovery activities. A post-distribution monitoring (PDM) was carried out to measure if the cash was used for its intended purposes and the level of satisfaction among beneficiaries in order to inform future responses in Nepal and elsewhere.
B. Situation analysis
Description of the disaster:
An estimated 850,000 homes were destroyed or badly damaged in the 7.8 magnitude earthquake of 25 April 2015 and subsequent aftershocks. Tens of thousands of people are still living in basic shelters built from bamboo and corrugated iron sheets. Generally, October to March is considered as the winter season in Nepal. Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the earthquake, many people are still living in temporary shelter during the winter months. This increased their risk to the environment and susceptibility to winter ailments.
Many earthquake affected people have not been able to reconstruct their damaged houses, and continue living in temporary shelters out in open spaces. There have media reports of people dying due to the cold weather and the potential for the toll to go up in the coming days of winter.
Several protests and strikes have been ongoing in the Terai Region since 8 August 2015 against the demarcation of state boundaries in the new constitution. So far, over 50 people have died in these protests. Acute shortage of fuel remains all over the country. This has significantly affected the humanitarian activities in the earthquake affected areas with respect to mobility. Nevertheless, the situation is expected to improve after Nepal signed an agreement with China, opening the door for importation of fuel from China.
The Reconstruction of Earthquake Affected Structures bill was passed by the legislature parliament on 16 December 2015. Earthquake Reconstruction Authority has been established and reconstruction activities are expected to commence in the earthquake affected districts.
Funding recovery and the IFRC revised Emergency Appeal:
The current IFRC Appeal coverage stands at 63 per cent in hard pledges and 71 per cent with inclusion of soft pledges. IFRC and NRCS once again is very grateful for the support from all partners. Special thanks to all partners that supported with the seasonal support plan that has just been concluded. The team is now focused on the Recovery phase and the partnership and resource development team is working to maintain all the partnerships established both within the Movement and externally, during the emergency phase.
It is important to highlight that there is still a significant funding gaps and we encourage partners to hold discussions with the PRD and technical units to discuss options and work to meet the objectives set.