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Disaster Management Reference Handbook - Nepal (October 2020)

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Nepal’s geography, geological position, and the impact of climate change are the primary causes of disasters in the country. Rapid, unplanned urbanization and environmental degradation has further intensified the disaster risk in Nepal.1 As a result, Nepal is one of the most disasterprone countries in South Asia with earthquakes, frequent flooding, landslides and multiple hazards and disasters striking every year.2

In 2015, two powerful earthquakes hit Nepal, killing almost 9,000 people, injuring 22,000 others, and displacing hundreds of thousands more. Damages and losses are estimated at US$7 billion.3 The recent publication by the Center for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) listed Nepal as one of the top 10 countries in the world in terms of disaster-related mortality. Nepal has been ranked at twentieth position among the countries in the world with regard to people affected by floods every year. Overall, floods and landslides make up almost 75% of disasters in Nepal, further creating a strong need for disaster management.4

Disaster Management can be defined as the organization and management of resources and responsibilities for dealing with all humanitarian aspects of emergencies, in particular, preparedness, response and recovery in order to lessen the impact of disasters.5 In the aftermath of the Earthquakes (2015) and the Monsoon floods (2017) in Nepal, the public and private sector collaborated and partnered in the reconstruction of disaster-affected areas in the country.6 The Nepal government and partners began shortterm and long-term reconstruction efforts based on the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) led by the National Planning Commission (NPC) with assistance of national experts and institutions, assisting countries, and developing partners. Humanitarian assistance was mobilized from all parts of the world.7

Nepal has made significant achievements in terms of legal framework, policy instruments, and institutional arrangements for disaster risk management. Nepal’s disaster governance is guided by its Constitution 2072 (2015), the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Act 2074 (2017),8 and Local Government Operation Act, 2074 (2017)9 The constitutional provisions regarding shared responsibility of all tiers of government have provided legal backup for institutionalizing DRM at national and sub national levels.10

The Government of Nepal has endorsed a National Disaster Risk Reduction Policy 2075 (2018) and Disaster Risk Reduction National Strategic Action Plan 2018-2030, which provides a comprehensive planning framework for disaster risk reduction and management in Nepal, encompassing different priority areas and guiding government actors and stakeholders to achieve targets by adopting appropriate processes.11 In addition, the National Disaster Response Framework, 2070 (2014), and first amendment, 2075 (2019) has been formulated to ensure the role of governmental bodies and the private sector in order to effectively carry out disaster response activities.12

The DRRM Act 2074 (2017) was amended in March 2019. It establishes a National Disaster Risk Reduction Management Authority (NDRRMA) under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA). MoHA is leading the ongoing efforts to operationalize the NDRRMA Act. 13 The Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) policies and practices are fostered through DRM initiatives at global, national and sub national levels.14