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UN agencies in Nepal spend millions in field trips

UN agencies in Nepal spend millions in field trips

MOFA & Home Ministry say they don’t seem to be conscious of the visits   

KATHMU, June 3: At a time when the nationwide lockdown enforced by the federal government to include the unfold of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to be in place, heads, deputy heads, senior employees of varied United Nations (UN) businesses in Nepal have began making journeys to all of the provinces, beginning this week. 

Sources mentioned they’re making visits to the headquarters of seven provinces in separate chartered flights for what they describe as ‘monitoring the state of affairs coordinating’ on the bottom. Those making the journeys embrace senior most employees from UN Women, ILO, UNRC, UNDP, UNICEF, WFP, UNFPA IOM. James McQuen Patterson, deputy nation consultant at UNICEF Nepal, is already on the sector, on his option to Surkhet at this time, after a cease in Nepalgunj.   

In an electronic mail to the heads of UN businesses in Kathmu, Valerie Julli, the UN resident coordinator, wrote that “if a number of folks from Kathmu wish to go to a sure province, [they] can mix the journey”. 

While the journey logistics is being coordinated by the Word Food Program (WFP) nation workplace in Nepal, the whole go to of the UN businesses is being coordinated by the UN Resident Coordinator’s workplace. Sources conversant in the event mentioned the journey is ready to value greater than Rs 10 million rupees. A chartered flight of Tara Air left for Nepalgunj Surkhet at this time within the morning. The flight was chartered by WFP. 

“The WFP different UN businesses are feeding migrant staff returning at the moment,” mentioned a UN official. “The state of affairs in Nepal has reached a essential humanitarian stage, we try to assist the federal government in any respect ranges, with out burdening them. Moreover, now we have additionally raised cash for the nation, which immediately goes to the federal government,” Valerie Julli, the UN resident coordinator, informed Republica. 

Home Ministry spokesperson Kedar Nath Sharma mentioned he’s unaware of the deliberate go to of varied UN businesses representatives.”Nobody is managing or facilitating the journey on behalf of the ministry,” Sharma informed Republica on-line, including, “Ministry of Foreign  Affairs is accountable for the UN businesses go to.”

However, senior officers on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) mentioned that they weren’t conscious of such ongoing/deliberate visits. “Since the central COVID-19 Crisis Management Centre (CCMC)) the federal Ministry of Health Population are coordinating all of the COVID-19-related duties, the heads of UN businesses should be coordinating with them,” a prime official on the MoFA informed Republica Online requesting anonymity. 

The official, nevertheless, mentioned that the UN businesses may assist the Nepal authorities in its battle towards COVID-19 for the reason that COVID-19 pemic can also be a humanitarian disaster. “To my understing, the UN businesses may have been extra proactive in overcoming challenges in Nepal at this hour of disaster. But, they appear virtually inactive (besides WHO) right here since we went into nationwide lockdown on March 24,” he added.  

During a gathering held on the Chhauni-based CCMC three days in the past, the heads of UN businesses had expressed their intention to go to the coronavirus-hit areas, in accordance with Bigyan Dev Pey, the spokesperson for the Nepal Army. “However, I’m not conscious of all the main points of what was mentioned within the assembly since I used to be not current there,” Pey mentioned. 

Responding to Republica questions, Tania Dhakhwa, chief of communication at UNICEF Nepal, mentioned that “the UN (together with UNICEF)  has been supporting the COVID-19 response for the previous few months by way of colleagues each in Kathmu colleagues based mostly within the provinces.  UN humanitarian employees concerned within the COVID-19 response are thought of as a part of the skilled teams/personnel important to the emergency/humanitarian response which have been granted distinctive authorities approval to maneuver. The UN has confirmed that important UN employees are allowed to maneuver to assist the COVID 19 response even in the course of the lock-down.” 

 She additional claimed that the UN businesses have been “supporting the COVID 19 response throughout varied sectors (well being, WASH, danger communication, safety, schooling and many others.)”. 

Meanwhile, it has been learnt {that a} go to deliberate by the World Bank Nepal Office to ‘monitor a health-related venture’ within the far west was cancelled on the final minute lately following the Home Ministry’s rejection to offer permission to their automobiles. 

Many have described the go to as ‘ill-timed’ as virtually all components of the nation are witnessing a pointy rise within the instances of COVID-19. Sources mentioned the Office of Chief Minister in Province 5 had earlier expressed displeasure when an analogous go to was made by Patterson, deputy nation consultant at UNICEF Nepal, in the course of the lockdown interval. 

Nepal enforced a nationwide lockdown to include the unfold of the COVID-19 on March 24. The lockdown has been prolonged till June 14 as there was a pointy improve within the variety of COVID-19 instances . 

The go to of senior UN officers in Nepal to provincial headquarters come within the wake of most provincial native stage governments are going through acute scarcity of important medical provides to struggle towards COVID-19 pemic. “They may have offered us with a number of PPEs different necessities, as a substitute of spending hundreds of thousands on pointless visits. I needed to meet them on their insistence whereas I’m very occupied in managing quarantine amenities,” mentioned a neighborhood elected official who lately met a visiting UN group.  

Various Nordic nations, the European Union the UK are among the many main donors of the UN businesses in Nepal. A variety of bilateral donor businesses, together with DFID, USAID, others, make big contributions to the UN workplaces right here in Nepal. The UN nation workplaces appear oblivious to the bottom realities even because the UN Secretary General has referred to as for reforms in the way in which UN is operated in view of the worldwide pemic.



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