Photos: Rebuilding Nepal Through Cash Transfers

A new initiative launches in the village of Kabilash
photo
Sapota Buchan, a villager from Kabilash, Nepal, is happy to receive his first payment of 8,000 Nepalese rupees after working on the cleaning and restoration of a badly damaged school. Credit: Daniel Burgui Iguzkiza for Action Against Hunger

Editor's Note: All photos are credited 2015 © Daniel Burgui Iguzkiza / ACF International

Two months after the first of two devastating earthquakes hit Nepal, Action Against Hunger's response efforts continue full force. After holding meetings with local authorities and community groups like women and youth clubs, for example, we agreed to start a cash for work program in the village of Kabilash, in Nuwakot district.

The program, which in its first stage has provided tools and cash for 90 people, is focused on the recovery of their livelihoods and also on accelerating the local economy and the restoration of some local infrastructure. In this district people are paid 8,000 Nepalese rupees (about $80 US) per month for working on the cleaning of debris and the restoration of the public school, which was severely damaged by the earthquake. People are encouraged to work close to their neighbors in rebuilding their town, and are given the freedom to invest their stipends at their discretion -- which injects some cash into the local economy. 

A big part of our work on the program involves identifying potential beneficiaries, and tracking and monitoring effectiveness. We seek to involve the whole community, and target not only those who are able to work, but also other families that are in need and potential candidates to receive unconditional cash to cover their basic needs. We recently had our first cash distribution  in Kabilash, and it was very successful.

Below, a snapshot of how our cash programs are helping the Nepalese community here get back on its feet:

In the photo above Saraj Mirsha, 20 years old, and his cousins Ujwal Khanal, 19, and Ramkumar, 11, look inside one of the badly damaged classrooms in their village school. The entire community here decided with Action Against Hunger that cleaning the debris from and restoring the school would be the main tasks prioritized in their cash for work program, which is providing tools (like hammers, wheelbarrows, shovels, etc.) and 8,000 Nepalese rupees (about $80 US) to 90 families while they complete the work.

Above: Although Granga Koirala is not part of the elected administrative committee of her village, she is a prominent figure in Kabilash, serving as one of the women's association leaders. In our efforts to empower the whole community to make decisions, we've brought her into the process and she has helped us bring other women and young people to program meetings.

Above, children cross a playground full of debris at their school in the village of Kabilash. The community has already started to clean and rebuild the school as a part of our cash for work program.

Sita Bike, a 30-year-old mother of three, is happy to receive her first payment of 8,000 Nepalese rupees after working with her husband, Kamel, and her sister-in-law, Monida, on the cleaning and restoration of the village school. Usually their main income comes from the farming.

Families like the one above are grateful for the opportunity this cash for work program provides. We promise to stand with the people of Nepal for the long haul, as recovery and relief efforts continue in the months and years ahead.

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About Elisabeth Anderson Rapport

Elisabeth Anderson Rapport, Senior Communications Officer

Elisabeth is Action Against Hunger's senior communications officer, reporting on our impact and current events around the world.