Nepal’s opportunity to seize the moment for the future of its people

04 May 2015 by Sujala Pant, Governance Specialist, UNDP Regional Hub in Bangkok

A woman tries to recover belongings from the earthquake rubble.The need of the hour is to ensure that the generously contributed aid is disbursed in a timely and transparent manner and reaches people who need it most. Photo UNDP Nepal
When the elders in my family spoke of the 1934 earthquake, they talked about how scary it had been, and the damage it left behind. How Dharara, once the tallest structure in Kathmandu (and since April 25th a pile of rubble) was rebuilt. I was in Kathmandu this time around and it was terrifying to experience the earthquake. I took refuge in my aunt’s house, along with 25 other people whose homes, like many across the city, were either damaged or destroyed. Four days later, leaving Kathmandu for Bangkok, the earthquake provided a stark reminder of the challenges ahead for Nepal. The international airport overflowed with passengers whose flights had been delayed for hours. Food was running out at kiosks that sold snacks and drinks, there was little space for people to stand, and mothers took care of children as best they could. Outside on the tarmac, massive cargo planes - from India, China, the U.S. and a host of other countries - were stationed with supplies and search and rescue equipment, waiting to be picked up. Despite the chaos, there was no frenzy or signs of frustration. Passengers seemed to accept the fact the country had just suffered a major … Read more

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