Kathmandu, June 22, 2016: UNDP Country Director Renaud Meyer has said that earthquake reconstruction should not only focus on rebuilding physical infrastructures but also rebuilding and recovery of peopleâ€™s livelihoods.
Speaking at the National Conference, ‘Livelihoods Recovery: Lessons Learnt and Way Forward’ organised in the capital,Â Meyer mentioned how Rapid Enterprises and Livelihoods Recovery Project (RELRP) supported 14,000 micro-entrepreneurs in different parts of the nation to support and revive their livelihoods. â€œUNDP’s Community Infrastructure and Livelihoods Recovery Project has supported 20,000 households through the reconstruction of 81 vital community infrastructures like irrigation canals, cooperative buildings, drinking water and agricultural facilities,â€ he added.
Similarly, Chief Executive Officer of the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) Sushil Gyawali shared that NRA is gearing up towards the livelihood revival along with the reconstruction works. â€œThere is a huge potential for employment creation in the construction industry in the nation in the aftermath of the quake, which will also help for the livelihood recovery along with making them self-dependent,â€ he said. He also shared the roadmap taken by NRA to create at least 25,000 masons and skilled laborers for the reconstruction sector in the duration of three months.
Talking in the programme, Industry Minister Som Prasad Pandey said that the government is serious towards the recovery of the livelihoods of the people devastated by the quake urged the NRA to make its performance more visible on the ground.
Similarly, Glenn White, Aussie Ambassador to Nepal mentioned how livelihoods recovery is as important as the reconstruction. “Rebuilding houses are important. But, recovery of the livelihoods is more important as it helps families to make decision about their priorities, whether they want to build house or send children to school or grow the business,” she opined.
Dr. Sailendra Thakali, Project Manager of Rapid Enterprise and Livelihoods Recovery Project (RELRP) of UNDP talked how the quote â€œBuild Back Betterâ€ has positively impacted for the overall welfare of Nepali people affected by the great quake. Â â€œCurrently, UNDP has been running many programmes in different parts of Nepal to facilitate the micro-enterprises and make the people financially independent,â€ he said. â€œMicro Enterprise Development Programme (MEDP) and Micro Enterprise Development for Poverty Alleviation (MEDPA), the two sustainable projects by the Government of Nepal in partnership with UNDP and Australian Government will further the livelihood recovery in rural villages and provide them with financial assistance.â€
In the programme, Nepal’s key development partners made a definite call to accelerate the progress of reconstruction work that directly supports livelihoods recovery of the earthquake affected communities. They also emphasized why livelihoods recovery should be given equal emphasis as building houses and other infrastructures.
In the sideline of the event, an exhibition was organized to showcase the products of the micro-entrepreneurs revived after the earthquake. Many small scale entrepreneurs had exhibited their products. One of the exhibitors shared her happiness to get supported by the micro-entrepreneurship programme and mentioned about the demands of these products in both the national and international market.
ByÂ Sangita Tiwari
Senior Reporter, Glocal Khabar