Nepalese government asks LWF to help coordinate relief efforts

LWF staff member Yadu Lal Shresta (centre), of the LWF Asia emergency hub team, talks to survivors about their living conditions in a camp in Bhaktapur, the worst-affected district of Kathmandu valley. Photo: LWF/C. Kästner
LWF staff member Yadu Lal Shresta (centre), of the LWF Asia emergency hub team, talks to survivors about their living conditions in a camp in Bhaktapur, the worst-affected district of Kathmandu valley. Photo: LWF/C. Kästner

(LWI) - The Nepalese government has asked The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) to take a seat on its emergency coordination group, a note of appreciation for the LWF’s rapid response to the earthquake.

The newly-formed Kathmandu Valley Relief Taskforce is expected to coordinate the relief work of international NGOs and civil society organisations.

A place on the taskforce was clear recognition of LWF’s response to the disaster, Dr Prabin Manandhar, LWF country director said.

Within hours of the 7.9 earthquake just before midday on April 25, LWF staff had issued an alert through ACT Alliance, a network of church-based humanitarian organizations, and begun distributing food and other relief goods in three of the camps in Kathmandu that emerged in the wake of the disaster. Teams have been delivering ready-made meals, shelter materials, and hygiene kits in Kathmandu and rural areas in the days since.

“We were among the very few international NGOs on the ground. We set up emergency operations on day one,” Dr Manandhar said. Having worked in Nepal for over three decades, “we were already on the radar of the government.”

The LWF is present in all United Nations clusters (groups of humanitarian organizations working in the main sectors of relief work) and is the lead implementing agency for ACT Alliance.

Dr Manandhar said it was the first time the government had set up an emergency taskforce and it would be an influential body to be part of.

“This is definitely a privilege. It was because of the fact that we acted very quickly and our long experience in the country. This will be a very high-level forum in which we might be able to influence policy, ” Dr Manandhar said.

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See recent articles on the LWF response:
https://www.lutheranworld.org/news/earthquake-victim-house-rocked-galloping-horse
https://www.lutheranworld.org/news/nepal-hundreds-families-receive-life-saving-support
https://www.lutheranworld.org/news/nepal-earthquake-leaves-massive-destruction