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Nepal: Floods Emergency Appeal No. 17/2004 Operations Update No. 8

Date de publication

The Federation's mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilising the power of humanity. It is the world's largest humanitarian organisation and its millions of volunteers are active in over 181 countries.

In Brief

Period covered: 1 December 2004 to 10 February 2005; Appeal coverage: 98.5%

Appeal history: Launched on 27 July 2004 for CHF 2,767,360 (USD 2,193,457 or EUR 1,802,246) for initially months to assist 180,000 beneficiaries (30,000 families). The appeal budget is revised down in Operations Update to CHF 2,026,765. Bilateral donations, local fundraising and partnerships have, together with the contribution to appeal, ensured that the full plan of action will be implemented, exceeding the number of beneficiaries in rehabilitation phase than originally planned. The appeal has been extended to nine months (27 April 2005) to ensure proper implementation of the rehabilitation and capacity building phase.

Outstanding needs: CHF 30,319

Related Annual Appeals: Nepal 01.58/2004 and Nepal 05AA048/2005

Operational Summary: The operation has continued amid the environment of the continued armed conflict and unstable political landscape. A state of emergency was announced on 1 February by the King, dissolving the previous government. The first week after this announcement communication lines were down, delaying some activities. It is currently difficult to forecast what the impact the new political situation might have on the operation. Increased strikes and blockades might be expected which could hamper the implementation of the relief operation. However, the operation has shown that the Nepal Red Cross is respected as a competent and neutral organisation and despite difficulties in the prevailing environment, will continue to proceed with planned activities.

The operation is now in its rehabilitation phase. The Nepal Red Cross is assisting 1,800 families by supplying material for reconstruction of their homes. Vegetable seeds are also being distributed for personal food production and/or generating income. Most of the warehouse replenishment of relief stocks has been done and pre-positioning of goods at regional and zonal warehouses has been finalised.

As outlined in Operations Update 7, the time period for this appeal was extended by three months to the end of April. This period may have to be further extended due to the current state of emergency. The Nepal Red Cross and the Federation will closely monitor the situation and revert in the next Operations Update.

As outlined in Operations Update 7, the Nepal Red Cross has, through coordination and cooperation with local international non-government organisations (INGOs) and UN agencies, been able to deliver more relief assistance than planned. Local donations have also made it possible to revise the budget and ensure that rehabilitation and capacity building activities can go ahead even if the original appeal budget was not fully funded.

The emergency relief phase of the operation was successfully completed in the beginning of November. Over 30,000 families received family packages and 1,000 vulnerable families received food items covering their midterm needs. Food assistance was also given to families in the emergency phase of the flooding. The district branches were responsible for raising funds and in-kind food items in the first response phase. By the end of October, 15,000 families had received water purification liquid, meeting the target of the appeal, however outside the planned time frame. This was due to difficulties in obtaining enough liquid from the sole supplier in Nepal.

The positive impact of earlier disaster preparedness (DP) activities on the Nepal Red Cross emergency response has been reviewed in a participatory three-country action learning process (PAL) led by the South Asia regional delegation. The Nepal report can be obtained upon request.

The Federation and Nepal Red Cross have used a cash transfer system for many years and pledge based reporting will therefore be provided directly by the national society.


Heavy rains which began in early July resulted in widespread flooding and landslides, affecting 800,000 people in 25 of Nepal's 75 districts killing 185 people.

Parts of southern Nepal were submerged for over two weeks. There were numerous landslides in the hilly region with many homes swept away. At the height of the disaster, 37,000 families were displaced. A total of 68,000 houses were destroyed or damaged. Infrastructure such as schools and roads and bridges were severely affected in the flood-hit districts.

The situation normalised by the end of October, with displaced persons returning to their homes or finding alternative accommodation. The rehabilitation activities are assisting families who are still recovering from having lost their livelihoods.

Operational developments

The work to reconstruct houses of families affected by the disaster is ongoing. The rehabilitation phase started as planned with the identification of families to receive assistance. This assistance is being provided in 12 districts, both in the hilly and plain areas. The Nepal Red Cross is providing materials and technical support for the construction. Almost 200 houses have been finished and construction is underway on several more. District chapters are mobilising volunteers for the implementation and monitoring of the rehabilitation activities.

Seeds are being distributed to support food consumption and cash-income for families. This is expected to be finalised by the end of February. The capacity building activities funded through this appeal are being implemented.

The time period of this appeal was extended to from six to nine months and is scheduled to finish by the end of April. However, the political upheaval as a result of the events of 1 February may lead to a further extension, depending on constraints which may emerge. Planned purchasing and delivery of construction materials had not occurred during the first week-and-a half of February as a result of the political situation. Further inactivity in these areas will lead to delays in construction.

As outlined in Operations Update 7, the planned 30,000 family packages had been handed out to beneficiaries by the end of October. Distribution of food items to 1,000 families covered by this appeal was finalised in the beginning of October, with distribution targeting mid-term needs of especially vulnerable families. Additional food distribution in the direct emergency phase had been done through raising local resources and replenishment of relief stocks to the warehouses is being finalised.

The Nepal Red Cross has been coordinating closely with other organisations as it is seen as the lead agency in response to the disaster due to its extensive network. There has been regular contact with UN agencies, the Home Ministry and other organisations active in the DP Net. It is currently working closely with agencies involved in the rehabilitation phase, such as Care Nepal.

A regionally coordinated action learning exercise took place in the flood affected areas in September. This included consultations with communities, districts and a national lesson learnt workshop. Findings underline the importance of the Nepal Red Cross's role as the only organisation able to effectively bring disaster relief to people in conflict-affected areas. The value of the community-based disaster preparedness (CBDP) programmes is also emphasised. Communities who were prepared were able to respond, evacuate and save lives. The report from the action learning exercise can be obtained from the Federation.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

Nepal Red Cross Society, Kathmandu, Badri Khanal, Executive Director,, phone: 977 1 42 70 650 fax: 977 1 42 71 915.

Federation Office, Kathmandu, Karin Hakansson-Furga, Federation Representative,, phone: 977 1 42 85 843, fax: 977 1 42 86 048.

ICRC Delegation, Kathmandu: Nicolas Bachman, Communication Delegate,, phone 977 1 44 82 285, fax: 977 1 448 29 37.

For regional overview, contact Bob McKerrow, Head of Regional Delegation, South Asia , New Delhi. Phone +91 11 2685 8671, mobile +91 98 1000 1534, email -

In Geneva: Suzana Harfield, Asia-Pacific Department; email:; phone: +41 22 730 4353 and Jagan Chapagain, email, phone +41 22 730 4252.

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for a full description of the national society profile, please access the Federation's website at

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