The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has been working in Nepal since 1996 and was present throughout the armed conflict there. With the end of the conflict, the ICRC maintained its presence and has been providing support in improving water and sanitation facilities in places of detention, in hospitals and in some communities.
Recognising that Nepal is prone to various disasters, including earthquakes, the ICRC and the Nepal Red Cross Society (NRCS) have worked over the years to strengthen the organizational and operational capacity of volunteers of the NRCS in order to equip them with the necessary skills required to assist those affected by such phenomena. This involves:
- Training and equipping Red Cross Action Teams in affected districts in the country.
- Improving NRCS skills in operating in tense situations to ensure safe and unhindered access to those in need of humanitarian assistance.
- Developing the capacity of the NRCS to trace the whereabouts of persons separated from their relatives and to restore family contact.
- Providing training to ensure that the mortal remains of victims of disasters are properly identified, handled with dignity, and returned to their families for the last rites.
Supporting other institutions
The ICRC has also been working to improve the emergency preparedness and response capacity of Nepal health and rescue services. For this, the ICRC collaborates with health institutions and state authorities as follows:
- Training medical personnel to enhance their expertise in the management of emergency trauma cases and the handling of mass casualties. This helps reduce the incidence of trauma-related morbidity, mortality and disability among injured people. The ICRC runs courses in partnership with the Dhulikhel Hospital of Kathmandu University.
- Providing medical materials to health structures during emergencies for the treatment of victims.
- Giving emergency first aid training to security forces: Trained instructors of the Nepal Police and Armed Police Force replicate the skills at lower level.
- Developing the capacity of the Nepal Police and the Armed Police Force in the management of mortal remains after disasters through instructors training.
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