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Nepal should grab opportunity to rebuild stronger, says Oxfam

The international community must support the Nepalese government to grasp a golden opportunity to rebuild the country and make it more resilient to future disasters, Oxfam and local organisations said today ahead of a donors’ conference tomorrow.

Two months on from the first massive earthquake, people still need humanitarian aid, but the focus must also expand to rebuilding – not just homes but also livelihoods and basic services. Donors and the Government of Nepal need to agree a long-term investment plan to rebuild stronger and get people back on their feet.

Bimal Gadal, Humanitarian Programme Manager for Oxfam in Nepal, said:  “The Nepalese people know their needs better than anyone and their voices must be heard when donors meet in Kathmandu. They have been through an ordeal, and now it is time to start rebuilding lives.

“This conference is a golden opportunity to get people back on their feet and better prepared for the future.

“This can only happen if the Government of Nepal is supported to create new jobs, build improved basic services like hospitals and clinics, and to ensure all new buildings are earthquake-resilient.”

Since 25 April, Oxfam and its partner organisations in Nepal have delivered essential aid to more than 270,000 people in seven of the worst-affected districts. This aid has included emergency shelters, hygiene kits, clean water and food and sanitation facilities.

Lajana Manandhar, Executive Director of Lumanti, a Nepali organisation which works with Oxfam, said: “Being prepared works. Together with Oxfam we have trained over 2,000 volunteers in communities, equipping them with the right tools and skills so they can react quickly in case of a disaster. Within a few hours of the earthquake, volunteers were helping rescue survivors, administering First Aid, building latrines and even mending water pipes in the Kirtipur area of Kathmandu.”

Jagan Nath Kurmi, Chairperson of the National Network of Community Disaster Management Committee (NCDMC), said: “We hope the delegates will discuss how Nepal can be supported to protect its people from other disasters in the future. There must be a strong disaster management law that provides adequate resources for preparing for future disasters. Now we have the opportunity to really make this happen.”

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