Saturday, May 02, 2015

Nepal 6: Nepal Government Wants to Monopolize All Donations

One ugly characteristic of many governments is their tendency to centralize many things, consistent with their central planning thinking. Like centralizing even private money and donations meant for victims of  natural calamities. Recent example is the Nepal  government.

I am reposting these fb status updates from a friend, Arpita Nepal, Director at Samriddhi Prosperity Foundation in Kathmandu.

April 30, 2015

Dear well wishers, our 'esteemed government' wants to channel all possible resources only through them! So if you are planning to send any contribution to Nepal, yesterday the Ministerial Cabinet decided that all funds collected will be directed via the Prime Minister's Disaster Relief Fund. Please read the Press release of the Office of the Prime Minister, Government of Nepal. If you have already started fund-raising initiatives on your own, please note that you are now require to get approval of the District Administration Office of the respective district and from the Nepalese embassy or Consulate Office if you are abroad!!

(To show accountability) They will produce a daily report according to the press release. However, according to ground information from our volunteers, the only relief that they have received so far is from voluntary individuals and civil society orgnizations. Not from Government. People have been reached more by Army and Police in rescue efforts. We don't know what is the plan of action of the Government relief fund.

May 1, 2015

For those of you making a donation or collecting funds for Earthquake victims of Nepal, please be aware that there are two directives in place now which direct all money collected to the Prime Minister's Relief fund (to be channeled through the Government). The latest one apparently is by Nepal Rastra Bank. Here's a news link to the directive. Looking for authenticity. Will post the actual directive once I'm able to get it as well.

(An illustration belowposted by another friend, Samriddhi Executive Director, Robin Sitoula; also the husband of Arpita. Below it, three fb status by other individuals shared by Arpita) 

(1) From Anil Keshary Shah Nepali

The government of Nepal has decided that all funds donated and collected for earthquake relief has to be deposited in the Prime Minister's Relief Fund! The government has said that it has taken this step in order to ensure that individuals and institutions do not misuse the funds collected in the name of relief, and to streamline coordination to ensure the optimum utilization of funds! 

As a citizen of Nepal I would like to remind my government that by doing this they are now fully and solely responsible for every family that is without a roof over their head, every injured person who is not getting treatment, every family that does not have water or food, and every disease and epidemic that spreads from today! The citizens of Nepal and friends of the Nepali people across the world wanted to do their best to help in whatever manner they could. Thousands of youth were engaging themselves in taking assistance to their affected brothers and sisters, whether they be in the heart of the valley or the most remote of villages; However now with all funds being mandatorily diverted to the government they have no means of continuing their efforts! People across the world who were sending funds and materials to individuals or institutions that they had faith would get the needed relief to the affected people are also stepping back as they are unaware of what will happen to their contributions when it's put into such a big pool! 

But our government is our government and as citizens we must abide by our governments decision, but I humbly request our government to also remember we are the people who vote to put them in government and wish that they are able to fulfill this immense responsibility that they have taken, from the hands of their citizens who wanted to help, so that we will be able to use these idle hands to vote for them the next time round! For now every Nepali who has lost their home, their business, their loved ones, are sick, hungry and thirsty is solely and wholly the responsibility of the government! And I don't think your public will wait for very long watching our brothers and sisters suffer, every day is one day to many, and please don't tell us that the task is huge and will take time because you were the ones who told us you didn't need our help and would be better able to do it if we stepped aside and stopped trying to help! We are your citizens so we will abide by our governments decision, now please prove you are our government and deliver on the responsibility you've taken on!!! If you agree please SHARE to build a public consciousness on this critical issue!

(2) From Prasit Kandel‎ 

All the people who are providing rescue, medical service, shelter, food, water, sanitation plz if u are doing from ur inner heart then dont let you down due to one door system of government. Standard time for rescue is atleast 15 days. We can save many lifes. Dont follow the rules follow the situation. Rescue never follow political rules it should follow situation. If i am wrong i am sorry my government but i will not follow ur rules for atleast 15 days. You can arrest me for that.
And true volunteers my heroes be aware of people, association, organization who believe in publicity not in serving.

And i would like to thanks all the people, association, organization who are giving there best to serve the people.

(3) From Nishant Shrestha

Ok the BIG PROBLEM OF CUSTOMS IS SOLVED ::::: Now people can send the relief material and there will be no customs charged ! Here is how it needs to be done :

To send :

1. The one sending the relief material has to send it to a social organization it can be NGO , INGO or a registered community club.

2. Please have the name and address written or printed clearly.

To receive :

1. The receiving organization needs to be a social organization as states above.

2. The receiving organization needs to bring a letter in their stamped letter head stating the purpose of the relief material and where they will distribute it. They will also need to submit cargo list or packing list.

3. They need to declare the total worth of the relief item and sign a contract stating how and where it will be distributed.

4. After the distribution , the social organization needs to make a report of distribution and get it approved by the local governing body at the distributed area , can be police, army or any government authority. Nepal customs will then followup on the issue later with the local bodies and in case the local body will not be able to provide authentic letter , total custom of that consignment will be charged to the local social organization.

In case of any problem , we are at the airport , please get all documents ready and call..... my number is 00977 9801122000 and 009779851021000

(New updates from Arpita)

Tent meant for distribution in Sindhupalchowk, Lalitpur and Upper Dhading just got seized by the Government en route from Birgunj - Their response - 'It is our job not yours!' - If the relief materials reaches the victims as soon as possible, we'd be very happy - doesn't matter who takes it there. But many supplies still lying at the airport tell a different story! Anyway, another day of trying to match efforts, and some successes. We'll still keep trying to help despite all adversities!

Finally, here's the Government's plan of action. If you want to distribute any kind of relief yourself or through your organization, this statement directs you to coordinate and take permission from the Central District and Local District Officers. Everyone involved in relief distribution, please take note.

See also:
Nepal, Maoist Government and Samriddhi, Part 2, April 07, 2014 
Nepal 3: Banda/Strike and Forced Closure of Shops, Schools, Transportation, February 07, 2015

Nepal 4: Earthquake and Civil Society Initiatives, April 27, 2015 

Nepal 5: Building Quality, Construction Permits and Earthquake, April 28, 2015

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