KATHMANDU, April 28: National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) has said that its attention has been drawn to a report recently published by Amnesty International. Issuing a statement on Thursday, the NRA admitted its flaws mentioned in the report “Building Inequality: The Failure of the Nepali government to protect the marginalized in Post-Earthquake Reconstruction Efforts 2017” but reiterated its commitment in rebuilding the nation.
“There is no denying of the sad reality that the reconstruction process has been slow and could not pick up the speed expected in a post-disaster situation. But international experiences tell us we are not far behind,” reads the statement released by NRA.
“But the government and the NRA as its focal agency on reconstruction remain vigilant of the fact that disaster disproportionately affects women, poor and the marginalized communities including people with disability. In order to help the marginalized and poor communities, the NRA has begun simplifying procedures in distributing aid,” the statement added.
The statement further said that the NRA has already submitted two proposals to the cabinet including land purchase grant of Rs 200,000 to every household identified by a government survey as living in settlements at risk of another disaster and Rs 200,000 to each household to earthquake survivors without land ownership certificates and are living in public land. The proposed amount per family for both groups is an addition to the grant of Rs 300,000 already announced by the government for reconstruction of houses.
A survey to identify vulnerable settlements conducted under the leadership of NRA had recommended the government to relocate more than 2,751 families to safer places. Nearly 10,000 families have also been identified as earthquake survivors without land.
In addition, NRA has taken a series of measures to proactively assist women as well as the poor and the marginalized communities. Vulnerable communities receiving housing assistance from I/NGOs or government are eligible to receive an additional top-up of Rs 50,000 from I/NGOs.
Vulnerable communities opting for low-cost housing can access the second and the third installment from I/NGOs even if they have received the first tranche of grant from the government.