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Resilience Summit Ignites Greater Interest and Well-informed Dialogue

[September 3, 2014, Kathmandu, Nepal]

On September 3, on the heels of unprecedented flooding across Nepal, USAID organized a special Resilience Summit in Kathmandu to discuss and look for new models to solve complex and interrelated challenges such as extreme poverty, food security, and climate-induced shocks.  The Summit provided a timely platform for well-informed dialogue with key stakeholders from the broad development community – with more than 160 participants from government, donors, INGOs/NGOs, private sector, and media – on the topic of resilience in Nepal. Mission Director Beth Dunford launched the Summit by highlighting USAID’s vision and approach to building resilience (speech here). The Panel Discussion on ‘Making Smarter Investments to Build a Resilient Nepal’ was especially stimulating and important. Topics covered broad-ranging perspectives on resilience, calling for greater attention and resources for preparedness than for response; stronger coordination between the various government ministries; improved government accountability for disaster mitigation and preparedness; investment in nutrition; and a national authority for disaster preparedness and management to coordinate disaster preparedness and response.

>Chief Guest at the Summit, Dr. Govinda Raj Pokhrel, Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission, talked about the importance of prudent development planning, citing poorly constructed roads as a major contributor to the increased flooding in Nepal. He also highlighted declining budgets and the need to use available resources strategically while maintaining that 2/3 of investment in resilience should come from the private sector.  

At the event, USAID also announced three new initiatives valued at up to $70 million in funds that will help communities more quickly recover from natural disasters and other stressors.  Given the increasing and irrefutable link between resilience and ending extreme poverty, USAID will continue to encourage smarter decisions and approaches to doing development and partner with the government and the private sector to better manage risks. The Summit received extensive coverage in the Nepali media (Nepal News and The Himalayan Times). 

Pic: Dr. Beth Dunford highlights USAID’s vision and approach to building resilience in Nepal. 

Dr. Beth Dunford highlights USAID’s vision and approach to building resilience in Nepal.

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