Quake Aftermath: Help in Cash or Kind?
By Deepak Gajurel
As Nepal prepares to switch from rescue and relief to reconstruction and rehabilitation, irregularities at various levels have begun to surface. Nepalis from various walks of lives have been reported to have been involved in one or another kind of irregularity, which include, government ministers, lawmakers, political leaders/workers, government employees, non-governmental organizations, social workers, and many others.
Ministers and their assistants are reported to be indulged in embezzlement of relief materials meant for earthquake victims. Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat's personal aide (PA) Ramesh Mahat has been implicated in the embezzlement of corrugated roofing sheets meant for the quake victims. (Annapurna Post Daily May 31, 2015).
Irregularities have also been recorded by international organizations. "… while some families had secured more than one tarpaulin, others had none. Residents said that only those with muscle (meaning political connections) were able to get them," Amnesty International said in its latest report. ((https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/ASA31/1753/2015/en/)
Irregularities are also recorded to have been done by international relief organizations. World Food Program distributed substandard rice to the earthquake victims, and authorities were forced to issue public notice not to consume rice given out by WFP. (Nagarik News, May 20, 2015)