Wednesday, September 3, 2014

US summit highlights new approaches, fundsup to $70 million to build a more resilient Nepal


The US Mission in Nepal, through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), today announced – during a Resilience Summit organised in the valley – three new programmes with up to $70 million in funds that will help communities more quickly recover from natural disasters and other stressors.
The Summit brought together government officials and development experts to look for new models to solve complex and interrelated challenges such as extreme poverty, food security, and climate shocks. Working under the leadership of the Nepal government, the US government aims at saving and improving more lives, building inclusive economic growth, and decreasing the need for humanitarian assistance.
"Resilience is essential if we are to win the fight against poverty," US ambassador Peter Bodde, shared addressing the Summit. "We know we cannot prevent floods and landslides, but we can work much harder and more strategically to ensure these shocks don’t devastate families or set back hard-won development gains," he added.
"The government sees resilience as a vital framework to help alleviate poverty and promote more sustainable development, lessening the impacts of disasters," said chief guest at the Resilience Summit, vice chair of National Planning Commission Dr GovindaPokhrel. "That will take creativity, innovation, and cross-sectoral partnerships, and we are pleased that USAID is highlighting this most important priority."

The envoy announced three resilience projects –  community resilience programme, early warning flooding system, and science and technolocy competition for resilience – at the summit to help Nepal.

Up to $70 million Community Resilience Programme is an integration in disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into USAID’s food and nutrition security efforts in Nepal. "A quarter of Nepal’s population lives below the international poverty line of $1.25-per-day, and the programme will benefit an estimated five million of the most vulnerable in hilly regions," Bodde said.
Under the $500,000 Innovative Early Warning Flooding System, the USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance will fund an early warning system to help protect communities in the Eastern region from flooding, he said, adding that the project will install gauges along flood-prone rivers and share real-time data with district authorities using SMS and email. "It will help save lives in the event of flood."
Likewise, a $100,000 Science and Technology Competition for Resilience programme is a call for bold and innovative solutions to 'building sustainable food security' in Nepal. "The Competition opens on September 4, and will be open to individuals, non-profits, academic institutions, and the private sector, with a focus on districts primarily in the Mid- and Far-West regions of the country," Bodde added.

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