The Humanitarian Context of Nepal
Nepal lies in South Asia bordering two giant countries- India and China. According to the census of 2011 the total population of Nepal is 26,494,504 that shows reducing growth rate, (i.e, 1.35 per annum). Th ough Nepal is rich in terms of various cultures, natural beauty, diversity of fl ora and fauna and enormous opportunity of development, it is regarded as one of the least developed countries. Political and economic opportunities inside the country diff er by caste, ethnicity, gender and geographical locations. Politically, Nepal is divided in 5 development regions, 14 zones and 75 districts.
Nepalese are waiting to witness a progressively restructured state devoid of the discrimination based on class, caste, region and sex. Ten-year long armed confl ict in Nepal was legitimately ended in 2006 through the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) that was forged with a commitment for a long term peace. Aft er then, the country was declared a republic and debate about federalism expanded political matrix. Th e country witnessed rapid social and political changes with changed power structure. It was expected that the Constitution will be promulgated in 2 years time through elected Constituent Assembly (CA). However, it faild to do so and extended for next 2 years eventually the CA itself was dissolved as consensus among the political parties. Th e second election for the CA has been decleared and new debates have risen among political paties.
Th us, political situation intermingle with issues like identity, economic vulnerability, ethnic-based and regional based issues that are to be settled down well for sustainable development and economic growth. Good governance is the aspiration of the Nepalese people.
Th ere are some positive aspects in the situation of vulnerability reduction in recent years. Poverty situation has been continuously decreasing to about 25%. Access to electricity and telephone has increased in the last 10 years.
Nearly, 50% of households now have latrine facility in their own dwelling with increased eff orts of Open Defecation Free Campaign. Women literacy has increased and more girls are attending schools. Adult literacy rate has increased signifi cantly and the proportion of fully immunized children has increased remarkably.
On the other hand, thousands of people are suff ering due to disaster and crisis in Nepal. Two persons on avarage loose their life everyday due to disaster and crisis. About 1400 families are still waiting to know the where abouts of their family members who went missing during confl ict period.
With rapid change in political and social as well as economic situation in the country, new types of human suff erings have arisen. Rapid urbanization, increased use of small arms, lack of safe supply of drinking water, waste management problems, pollutions, an increase in natural disasters as well as small scale disasters, health emergencies, increase in noncommunicable diseases, problems of safe access to health care in situation of strikes, agitation and other cases, and diffi culties for humanitarian actors to reach people in need are frequently seen.
Th e context of humanitarian landscape has changed. Th ere is increased pressure for development and humanitarian actors in Nepal. Th ere is noticeable impact of climate change that the seasons and monsoon are being unpredictable. We see increased migration of youths to urban centers and out of the country day by day for employment opportunity and study. Nearly 44% of households have at least one absentee currently living either abroad or within the country. Th is also has led to feminization of poverty and low agricultural productivity particularly in remote, hill and mountain regions. Th e issues of children, disables and aging people are other aspects of problems to be addressed.
Th ere is increased demand of role and commitment of humanitarian actors like NRCS in the context of present socioeconomic vulnerabilities and the disaster and crisis situation of Nepal. NRCS, as an auxiliary body of the government, in support with national as well as international organization has implemented its sixth development plan (2011-2015) in order to deal with amplifi ed multi-dimensional humanitarian issues.
NRCS plan gives priority to save lives, protect livelihood, and strengthen recovery from disaster and crisis as well as to promote safer, resilient and healthy communities. In order to promote social inclusion and culture of non-violence and peace, the plan also imply. NRCS is committed to strengthen organizational governance and management capacity at all level for better performance to reduce vulnerability of the community of Nepal.