June 06, 2017. The Chief Executive Officer of the National Reconstruction Authority, Dr. Govind Raj Pokharel, made a keynote speech on ‘Early lessons from post-earthquake recovery in Nepal’ at the third edition of the World Reconstruction Conference (WRC3) hosted in Brussels from June 6 to 8.
The WRC3 was co-organized by the World Bank’s Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, the European Union, the United Nations Development Programme and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, WRC3 aims to promote resilience through post-crisis recovery.
In the keynote presentation, Dr. Pokharel highlighted the strengths and shortcomings of the response and recovery in the last two years and on the way forward – what Nepal needs to do for sustainable and resilient recovery.
Highlights included: the necessity of a national disaster management agency responsible for preparedness, response and recovery for disaster preparedness planning; the importance of a vibrant civil society and private sector; and the need to consciously involve them in preparedness planning and recovery.
Dr. Pokharel also emphasized that the commitment to meet the needs of the most vulnerable cannot be just rhetorical or remain at the planning level. Their needs must be articulated clearly in project activities and expected results.
The NRA's CEO acknowledged that the predominant focus on housing has overshadowed broader community needs, for example livelihoods and employment regeneration – especially for women-headed households and disadvantaged groups – or encouragement to small and medium enterprises.
Finally, Dr. Pokharel concluded the presentation by saying that while there are many lessons to be learned from Nepal’s post-earthquake reconstruction, the most important one is the need to plan as rigorously as possible, but also leave room to be flexible, open to mid-course corrections, adaptable and responsive to unforeseen problems, to reach the unreached, and to continuously learn from not only from the own experience, but also to be open to innovative approaches.
Source: Nepal's National Reconstruction Authority: http://nra.gov.np/news/details/246