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May 13, 2018, Kathmandu,

Policy dialogue program on “Youth Participation in Disaster Management” was organized by Humanitarian Accountability Monitoring Initiative (HAMI) on May 13, 2018 at National Youth Council, Tripureshwor, Kathmandu. The dialogue was jointly managed by JCYCN, SDG Studio in collaboration with National Youth Council.

The program aimed to explore and assess the role of youth in policy formation process and their engagement concerning with disaster management. Specifically, the dialogue emphasized for reconstruction after April 2015 earthquake as an evidence of existence of policy gaps for mobilizing the youth in disaster management. Youth engagement in disaster management was considered very crucial as significant portion of the population in Nepal is from youth age category with 40%. The guests, presenters and participations were univocal regarding the need of youth in disaster management both at policy and execution levels.

Mr. Min Bahadur Shahi, Hon’ble Member of National Planning Commission was the chief guest of the program. The chief guest assured that necessary initiatives from his side will be carried out for recommending to the concerned authorities for drafting the policies by recognizing youth’s past contribution during and after disasters and their potential roles in coming days. Dr. Padma Prasad Khatiwada, General Secretary of Human Rights Alliance shared necessity of effective policies that are needed to be executed. Since, youth age group is major stakeholder on disaster management activities but little presence has been provided to the youth even in existing policies on it. Hence, there is need of providing greater and wider space to the youth so that their engagement could be made more effective in disaster management, i.e. reconstruction.

Bidur Subedi from HAMI Initiative was focused on raising the issues for the discussion for disaster management. He presented overall introduction of HAMI along with its mission in advocacy on humanitarian cause during and after the disaster. Glimpses of campaigns of HAMI were shared in the program. Dipesh Ghimire, Associate Professor of TU presented on “Policy Provisions on Disaster Management for Youth Engagement”. Existing provisions concerning with youth mobilization through policies were presented such as Constitution, Periodic Plan, DRR National Policy, Youth Policy and Policies of NRA with regard to the space, role, and recognition for youth prior, during and after the disaster. He also presented that facts and findings from the recent earthquake’s effects depicting the need of youths for active engagement for disaster management; hence, required policies are needed to be drafted aiming to encourage youths in this process.

Netra Prasad Subedi, Under Secretary, National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) acknowledged there have been some gaps for addressing youth engagement through policies and assured for addressing this concern in coming days. Furthermore, discussion was concerned with necessity of revisiting policies on disaster management so that youth could be made more engaged and government has to explore possible ways of proving youth opportunities in the country so that they can contribute for nation building as well as during and after disasters.

Likewise, Mr. Mahendra Poudel, Under Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, and Dhurba Poudel, Under Secretary National Youth Council, Narendra Khatiwada, Youth Advocacy Nepal also addressed on the issues asserting the role of youth in disaster management as they have been active indicating fulfilling even greater roles in future. Additionally, quarries from the participants were addressed by NRA.

The program concluded the univocal voice of raising the demands for recognizing the role of youth in disaster management through policies because youth remain crucial for rescue, recovery and rehabilitation process in all sorts of disasters. Contribution made by youths during natural disasters and reconstruction, will be at the center while drafting the disaster management related policies in the coming days.

The program was chaired by Tillotam Poudel, President of JCYCN and Core Committee Member, HAMI. The program was moderated by Niraj Neupane, SDGs Studio.