Nepal: Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) should provide inclusive emergency relief
Date : 2015.08.04
In its efforts to outreach people affected by the Nepal Earthquake, IMADR’s partner organization Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) witnessed different kinds of discrimination practices such as caste-based discrimination, the lack of information and the lack of access to the Dalit and marginalized communities.
To request more just and equitable distribution of emergency relief, we sent a letter to the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on 28th July. Today, 4th August, JICA acknowledged the receipt the letter to take account of the problems. Whole text can be read below or downloaded here.
Caste-based discrimination in the disaster response after the Nepal Earthquake is documented in the report “Waiting for Justice in Response: Report of Initial Findings from Immediate Needs Assessment and Monitoring Responses towards Affected Dalit Communities in Nepal Earthquake 2015”.
28 July 2015
Mr. Akihiko Tanaka
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Mr. Toru Arai
South Asia Department
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Mr. Tsutomu Shimizu
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Nepal Office
Nibancho Center Building 5-25,
Niban-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8012
Emergency Relief: Request to Japan International Cooperation Agency
Nepal has been struck with a 7.6 Magnitude earthquake on 25 April, 2015 which is considered to be the biggest and strongest in 80 years. Earthquake death toll reached 8,669 and additional 21,974 who were left injured according to the Disaster Risk Reduction Web Portal by the Government of Nepal. The highest death rates were of children under the age of ten. The disaster lead 501,906 homes fully destroyed and a further 272,232 partially destroyed. The quake caused massive damage of school building and infrastructures, causing the collapse of public services and major losses of private property and livelihood across the country. According to the initial report of Department of Education (DOE), 7,093 schools are damaged, estimated 999,000 children are out of school due to the earthquake and 440,000 additional children are affected by partially damaged classrooms, interrupted schooling, and psycho-social impact.
In this difficult situation, IMADR’s partner organization Feminist Dalit Organization (FEDO) has been initiated and started to work in emergency relief support three days after the major earthquake. FEDO has been successfully completed the first level of relief distribution to the earthquake survivors of severely affected 8 districts namely Nuwakot, Dhading, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kabhrepalenchowk, Sindhupalchowk and Ramechhap respectively. We have reached more than 28 remote VDCs and Municipalities of the districts.
During the relief distribution, FEDO has experienced different kind of discrimination practices such as caste based discrimination, lack of information, political biasness,and lack of access to the Dalit and marginalized community because they do not have personal relationship with the decision makers. Different national and international human rights organization, civil society organization reports, national and international independent media have reported the various kinds of discrimination practices during rescue and relief
distribution. We have seen the hidden reality/gaps regarding the discrimination during relief distribution to the Dalit, and therefore, request you to take the following three issues into consideration when you provide further reconstruction/rehabilitation efforts in order to support the marginalized communities of the Dalit.
- Less participation of Dalit community in the local/state level relief distribution mechanism; for example, District Disaster Response Committee (DDRC), Ward Citizen Forum, Community Awareness Centre (CAC), and etc.
- Lack of information/awareness/education regarding own duties and responsibilities of Dalit People, and high level of fear regarding seeking rights; for example, they do not have any idea on who and where to seek for help.
- Settlements such as markets, towns, and district headquarter are far from road networks and located in very remote and disaster prone geographical location.
It is obvious that the situation for survivors of the earthquake is extremely bad. Everyone has been affected, but the have nots such as people of the vulnerable community, Dalit, and poor household and people have been affected differently compared to the haves. Monson, the rainy season, has already started, and due to the settlement location placed at disaster prone geographical location, the vulnerability of vulnerable community of Dalit, Janajati, as well as the marginalized community and people have been massively increased.
The Government of Nepal has been already disseminated the reports of Post Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA). The Government of Nepal itself declared that the second phase of post disaster has been started, and is planning to intervene on reconstruction, resettlement, and rehabilitation of earthquake survivors. In this context, FEDO has been initiated to work in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process. We are in great demand to serve and reach the unreached, vulnerable communities in different locations and communities of districts affected by the earthquake. We would like to heartily request you to support in this reconstruction and rehabilitation process.
Thank you for your support.
IMADR Japan Committee