Canada helps Nepal rebuild, prepare for future earthquakes

Ottawa, Feb. 29 (ANI): Jean Lebel, President of Canada’s International Development Research Centre and His Excellency Nadir Patel, High Commissioner of Canada to India on Monday announced a new initiative to help Nepali communities rebuild following the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country in April 2015.

This 1.2 million USD investment will restore housing, public buildings, and infrastructure, as well as promote better mitigation and management for future natural disasters.

This initiative contributes to wider Government of Canada reconstruction efforts in Nepal.

Working with a local partner, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), this partnership will support rehabilitation and reconstruction activities in Dhungentar ward.

This initiative will strengthen the capacities of communities and institutions for disaster risk management and climate change adaptation, and build eco-friendly, climate and earthquake resilient homes.

The disaster risk management and adaptation capabilities and practices that are developed and refined will be scaled up to help other communities better prepare for climate and non-climate hazards.

The Government of Canada has so far provided 23 million USD in humanitarian assistance funding in response to the crisis, which has been directed to experienced humanitarian partners, including UN humanitarian agencies, Canadian NGOs and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

“This initiative will support mountain communities in their rebuilding and rehabilitation efforts following the earthquake of 2015 and the knowledge generated will be shared in the wider region to improve disaster planning and preparedness to reduce the devastating impacts of such events,” said IDRC President Jean Lebel.

High Commissioner for Canada to India, Nadir Patel said that in the aftermath of last year’s earthquake in Nepal, Canada provided a timely and comprehensive response to humanitarian needs.

“Canada remains committed to work with Nepal in supporting the most vulnerable people affected by this tragedy. The ICIMOD project supported by IDRC will help in the long term rehabilitation of the affected people,” he added.

Resonating similar sentiments, David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD said it is important to rebuild infrastructure after the earthquake, adding that it is critical that the focus be on rebuilding livelihoods.

“In addition to road, irrigation and building reconstruction, the project will focus on community resilience with a special focus on mountain women. The efforts will help the mountain communities to better prepare for climate and non-climate hazards,” he added.

He further stated that the whole Hindu-Kush Himalayas is a high hazard region for earthquakes, and the lessons learned need to be transferred to other countries in the region, a role that ICIMOD as regional, intergovernmental organization can play.

The project supports rebuilding in Nepal in the context of natural disaster management, risk management, rehabilitation, strengthening livelihoods and community resilience.

This work builds on IDRC investment in Nepal since 1972. IDRC has been working on climate and water related challenges in the region for more than 20 years. The 1.2 million USD initiative will build earthquake resilient housing for 100 families.(ANI)

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