U.S. Summit Highlights New Approaches and Funds up to $70 Million to Build a More Resilient Nepal

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The U.S. Mission in Nepal, through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), today announced three new programs with up to $70 million in funds that will help communities more quickly recover from natural disasters and other stressors.  The announcement came at a Resilience Summit organized in Kathmandu.  The Summit brought together government officials and development experts to look for new models to solve complex and interrelated challenges such as extreme poverty, food security, and climate shocks.  Working under the leadership of the Government of Nepal, the U.S. Government aims to save and improve more lives, build inclusive economic growth, and decrease the need for humanitarian assistance.

Speaking at the Summit, U.S. Ambassador Peter Bodde, shared, “Resilience is essential if we are to win the fight against poverty. We know we cannot prevent floods and landslides, but we can work much harder and more strategically to ensure these shocks don’t devastate families or set back hard-won development gains.”

Chief Guest at the Resilience Summit, Vice Chair of National Planning Commission Dr. Govinda Pokhrel, said, “The Government of Nepal sees resilience as a vital framework to help alleviate poverty and promote more sustainable development, lessening the impacts of disasters. That will take creativity, innovation, and cross-sectoral partnerships, and we are pleased that USAID is highlighting this most important priority.”

The three USAID Resilience Projects are:

An up to $70 million Community Resilience Program integrating disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation into USAID’s food and nutrition security efforts in Nepal. A quarter of Nepal’s population lives below the international poverty line of $1.25 per day, and this program will benefit an estimated 5 million of the most vulnerable in Nepal’s hill regions.

A $500,000 Innovative Early Warning Flooding System: USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance will fund an early warning system to help protect communities in the Eastern region from flooding. The project will install gauges along flood-prone rivers and share real-time data with district authorities using SMS and email. This will help save lives in the event of flood.

A $100,000 Science and Technology Competition for Resilience – a call for bold and innovative solutions to “building sustainable food security” in Nepal. The Competition opens on September 4, and will be open to individuals, non-profits, academic institutions, and the private sector, with a focus on districts primarily in the Eastern regions of the country. More information will be released soon.


Background - Quick Facts and Links

  • Over the last 30 years, total development losses as a result of recurring crises represent $3.8 trillion worldwide. According to the World Bank, $1 out of $3 dollars in development funding is lost as a result of recurrent crises.
  • The rising toll of climate change combined with population growth means more people stand in harm’s way, and many of them are already poor or vulnerable.
  • The number of weather-related disasters has tripled in the last 30 years. The year 2013 was the year with the most disasters. This year’s unprecedented flooding and landslides affecting thousands of Nepalis – already among the most vulnerable – across the country are examples of increasing weather-and climate-change induced disasters. 
  • In Nepal, over 2 million people live on potentially hazardous fault lines, where earthquakes could cause severe damage.