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Strengthening climate and disaster resilience in Nepal

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We are working with the Government of Nepal to support climate-resilient policy reforms

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Nepal is highly vulnerable to natural disasters and the impacts of climate change, as more than two thirds of the country’s economy depend on climate-sensitive sectors such as agriculture and forestry. As such, the Government of Nepal is highly engaged across all level in building capacity and policies to effectively address climate challenges.

Through the Policy and Institutions Facility (PIF), we are supporting the Government in developing policies and institutions for tackling climate change and strengthening disaster resilience.

The facility aims to ensure that its work contributes to climate and disaster resilience for the most vulnerable communities, including women, children, and people with disabilities.

The challenge

Nepal is highly susceptible to a number of natural hazards including earthquakes, flooding, landslides, droughts, and glacier lake outburst floods. On 25 April 2015, Nepal was struck by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake which caused nearly 9,000 deaths and left an estimated 2.8 million people in need of assistance.

Water-induced disasters, such as floods and landslides, cause on average 300 deaths each year, and have substantial economic damages, wiping out almost 1.5% of the country’s GDP per year. Nepal continues to face increasing risks from climate change, which is anticipated to increase flood-related disasters.

Coupled with these disaster risks, the country also experiences high social vulnerability. Nepal is classified as a low-income country, ranking 157 out of 187 on the human development index. High levels of poverty and social inequality based on ethnic and caste-based discrimination prevail. Rapid urbanisation, poor planning, and low-quality construction compound this social vulnerability by adding significant risk when natural disasters strike.

Our approach

Providing flexible and demand-driven support, the facility helps the Ministry of Home Affairs, the provincial government, and other stakeholders to operationalise the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Act, which outlines the risk response, preparedness, and management interventions during a disaster. In addition, the facility aims to align policy and institutional reforms with Nepal’s federal constitution.

We are working with the Ministry of Forests and Environment and relevant stakeholders to address key constraints to Nepal’s climate change policy and institutional framework and support the development of policy reforms, including the revision of Local Adaptation Plans of Action framework and formulating a new gender and climate change strategy.

Outcomes and wider impact

The facility is supporting the Government of Nepal to build the systems and policies responsive to climate change and disaster risk threats by ensuring climate change and disaster resilience are integrated into planning, policies, and in all major investments by the Government. Through these changes, the facility will contribute to the transformation of Nepal's resilience to climate and natural disasters.

We are implementing the Policy and Institutions Facility together with Acclimatise, GCAP, ITAD, Practical Action, and Vivid Economics.