KATHMANDU: The UK Department for International Development announced vital funding support for earthquake preparedness in Nepal issuing a press release here in the capital on Thursday.
According to the statement the UK’s new disaster preparedness programme will strengthen Government of Nepal’s disaster risk management policy and support improved building code compliance.
It will scale up community-based activities to build the resilience of 4 million people to earthquakes and other disasters, the statement reads.
The statement went on to say that, DFID support will also improve preparedness for a national and international emergency response and train 4,000 volunteers across Nepal in search and rescue and first aid. DFID will provide up to £17m (equivalent to Rs 2 billion) over four years.
The statement further reads that, the Rt Hon Alan Duncan, MP, UK Minister of State for International Development visited Kathmandu this week and met with the Home Minister and visited National Emergency Operation Centre. He also met with the representatives from partner organisations who are working to increase disaster preparedness in Nepal.
Duncan, who has been closely involved throughout the development of the new programme, said “I have been extremely focused on the earthquake risk in Nepal since my first visit to Nepal as a UK Minister. An earthquake in Kathmandu has all the components of a cataclysmic tragedy. This is a risk that the UK cannot ignore.
Duncan further said that “I am very pleased to announce this package of UK funding to improve national disaster management and emergency response capacity and reduce the vulnerability of 4 million people to disasters. This is part of an increased focus on disasters as a new and vital part of DFID’s work. In Nepal and internationally, we should be asking ourselves now what we can do to help Nepal to reduce the risk.”