National Disaster Response Framework amended

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The government has made the first amendment to the National Disaster Response Framework 2013, in line with the federal governance system and other prevailing laws related to disaster risk reduction for mobilization of national level resources.
The main objective of this framework is to carry out and guide comprehensive disaster response and maintain coordination among all three levels of government for preparedness during large scale disasters. The framework will facilitate and expedite activities, such as search and rescue operation and arrangement of emergency shelters, besides ensuring protection of lives and property.

As per the framework, the Government of Nepal (Council of Ministers) may approach the UN humanitarian coordinator, national and international governments, Red Cross, regional organisations, donor communities, international professional groups and non-resident Nepalis for humanitarian goods or services if its resources, such as helicopters and technical equipment for rescue and relief operation, including cash, are inadequate for disaster response.

The UN and Red Cross may also call for international assistance in accordance with the government’s decision.

To benefit from international assistance, the Ministry of Home Affairs will prepare a list of donor agencies and areas of support to be accepted from them. “The government will implement provisions of the Model Agreement for Emergency Customs Procedure 2007 inked with the UN for exemption of customs duty on medicines, search and rescue materials and other essential goods to be obtained from the international community,”the framework reads.

According to the framework, the government will also facilitate issuance of entry visa for members of the international community who come to Nepal for search and rescue and humanitarian support in times of mega disasters. In addition, it will take initiatives and facilitate provision of transit visa for international humanitarian community coming to Nepal with relief materials.

The federal government, in association with the provincial and local governments, agencies concerned, security bodies as well as national and international organisations, will accord high priority to search, rescue and relief operation, damage assessment, medical care, treatment of injured, waste management, dead body management, resumption of supply of essential goods, roads, electricity and communication system in the wake of a disaster. Other activities of the government in the event of a disaster include data collection of displaced persons, special care for lactating mothers, pregnant women, senior citizens, children and other vulnerable people.

Source: The Himalayan Times