In December 2015, the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) and CARE Nepal commenced their first cooperative project in Gorkha District, Nepal—one of the worst affected districts of the disastrous earthquakes in April and May 2015—to support the food security and livelihood needs of the vulnerable populations during the recovery phase of the post-disaster period. The positive results of the cooperation have prompted the two organizations to initiate another one-year project, the Gorkha Food Security and Livelihoods Enhancement Program, in December 2016. This project will extend the coverage of targeted areas and beneficiaries in Gorkha District, where approximately 1,800 earthquake-affected households in six villages will benefit from it.
The previous project of December 2015 provided post-disaster assistance to four villages in Gorkha District. The beneficiaries not only managed to sustain their basic livelihoods but also gradually increased their vegetable production after receiving horticulture training. Some of them even began to transform from self-sustained to semi-commercial farming, earning around USD 80 to 600 in additional income from selling vegetables. This surplus of income could contribute to their children’s education or help them expand the scale of their farm operations for the following year.
This year’s project will build upon the solid foundation established by the previous one to further enhance food security and assist the earthquake-affected households to improve their livelihoods. The project will extend assistance to the areas near the epicenter of the earthquake in April 2015 and continue to focus on the needs of the poor, vulnerable and socially excluded (PVSE) communities. This will increase food security from sustainable agro-based livelihoods through capacity building; enhance agricultural commercialization and strengthen vulnerable farmers’ engagement in the value chain, providing better access to markets; and encourage entrepreneurship particularly among PVSE groups through capacity development and access to finance and markets.
In addition, in response to last year’s positive feedback on the short-term Taiwanese horticulture expert who was dispatched to Nepal to provide technical assistance, the TaiwanICDF will dispatch another short-term horticulture consultant and volunteer to Nepal to take part in the project so that Taiwan’s advantages in agriculture can be demonstrated overseas. The involvement of Taiwanese personnel in humanitarian assistance would also enhance the country’s international visibility and reinforce exchanges between the two sides.