UN seeks over $100 million to aid Nepal’s post-conflict recovery, development
The United Nations has appealed for over $104 million to support humanitarian and development efforts in Nepal, which is seeking to recover from a decade-long civil conflict that formally ended in 2006 with the signing of a peace accord between the Government and Maoists.
The Common Appeal for Transition Support (CATS) for 2008, launched last week, contains 61 projects to address urgent needs in the areas of food and nutrition, protection, health, disaster preparedness and response. It will also allow aid workers to assist internally displaced persons (IDPs), refugees and children affected by armed conflict.
Although the conflict officially ended in November 2006 when the Government and the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) signed a comprehensive peace agreement, the country faces a number of challenges as it seeks to recover and rebuild.
“Bombings, killings, abductions, demands for ransom and other forms of threats aimed at political opponents and civilian populations continue to hinder the ability of the state to deliver basic services in the country,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a news release.
The focus of this year’s aid efforts will be assistance to refugees, IDPs and children affected by armed conflict, with nearly $29 million of the requested funds allocated for these groups.
Recent studies by the UN Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) indicate that only 39 per cent of the country’s population have access to adequate toilet facilities, while 50 to 70 per cent of the drinking water in many districts is contaminated.
In addition, the global acute malnutrition rates hover around 13 per cent, with children being the most affected group, especially in the hill areas where over 65 per cent of children are stunted and almost 50 per cent are underweight.
The country also hosts some 107,000 Bhutanese refugees, who also require humanitarian assistance.
Last year donors contributed some $72.6 million – over 70 per cent – of the total requested in the CATS 2007 for Nepal. The Appeal, an action plan developed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) in Nepal with aid partners on the ground, will be revised in mid-year in response to changes in the humanitarian and socio-political situation in the country, OCHA said.