Govt bars NGOs, individuals from distributing relief directly

Published On: August 15, 2017 03:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, August 14: Fearing possible uneven distribution of relief materials to the flood-affected people, the government on Monday introduced one-window policy to distribute all relief materials to the victims only through government channel.

A meeting of the Central Natural Disaster Relief Committee chaired by Home Minister Janaradan Sharma decided to restrict non-governmental organizations from distributing relief materials on their own. Home Minister Sharma directed the chief secretary and secretaries of other concerned ministries to make necessary arrangements to funnel all relief items, both cash and kind, only through the home ministry.

Minister Janardan Sharma said one-window policy aims to avoid duplication in the distribution of flood relief and ensure proportionate distribution of relief materials to all the flood victims.“If any organization or individual wants to provide financial support to the flood victims, they should deposit the cash in the Prime Minister's Relief Fund," a press statement issued by the home ministry quoted the home minister as saying.
The ministry has formed Relief Materials Coordination Committee with Joint Secretary Kedar Neupane as coordinator following the minister's directives. The ministry has asked all the individuals/organizations wishing to donate goods to the flood victims to coordinate with the Neupane-led committee.
The ministry has decided to keep all those relief materials received from individuals or NGOs at Nepal Food Corporation warehouse at Thapathali and World Food Program's warehouse at Tribhuvan International Airport before dispatching them to the affected areas.

Replying to the concerns from various sides that the new arrangement could delay the relief distribution work, Home Ministry Spokesperson Ram Krishna Subedi said they have been flying relief materials every day through private and army helicopters.“This is not a new policy. In fact, one-window policy was implemented earlier as well. There won't be any delay in dispatching the relief materials," said Subedi.
Six private and six Nepal Army helicopters had flown relief materials to the affected districts on Monday. Officials said it is not possible to dispatch the relief materials by land as roads have been damaged.  

Subedi said the government will disburse the cash deposited in the Central Natural Disaster Relief Fund. "Our only intention is to ensure that the relief materials are distributed proportionately in all the affected areas, hence the one-window policy."

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