Contingency Planning

Introduction

The country is relatively ranked very high in terms of vulnerability to natural calamities. The risk is believed to be increasing rapidly mainly due to the growth in population, especially in urban and urbanizing areas. In Nepal floods create the largest disasters, earthquakes are the deadliest ones, fire causes the largest material losses and civil unrest induces the heaviest economic impede in the country.
Given the above situation, there is a need for United Nations (UN) agencies to be prepared to support the Government of Nepal (GON) in responding to emergency situations in a coordinated, timely and appropriate manner to reduce the negative impacts of a disaster. This Contingency Plan outlines the joint UN clusters’ response to natural disaster as well as complex emergency scenarios.


National Planning

The Natural Disaster Relief Act, 1982 of Government of Nepal (GON) is the first Act so far that recognizes earthquake, fire, storm, flood, landslide, heavy rainfall, drought, famine and epidemics as disaster. Natural Disaster Relief Act, 1982 A.D. defines Natural Disaster Relief Work as any relief work to be carried out in the area affected or likely to be affected by the natural disaster in order to remove the grief and inconvenience caused to the people, to rehabilitate the victims of the natural disaster, to protect the public property and life and property of the people, to control and prevent the natural disaster and to make advance preparation thereof. Prior to 1982 A.D. relief and rescue works were carried out as the social works only. It has already been amended twice in 1989 and 1992 A.D.
According to this Act, GON has constituted the Central Disaster Relief Committee under the chairmanship of the Home Minister in order to formulate and implement the policies and programs relating to the natural disaster relief work and to undertake other necessary measures thereof. Moreover, the Central Committee prepares specific norms of relief assistance to be provided to the disaster victims of the affected areas in cash and/or in kind through the District Disaster Relief Committees.