Support for those affected by explosive devises in Nepal – Launch of Victim Assistance Handbook
Kathmandu, Nepal, 20 January, 2009: Since the Comprehensive Peace Accord was signed three years ago, 252 Nepalis have become casualties of victim-activated explosions. Of these 33 were killed and 219 have been severely injured. Out of this total number of casualties 135 were children, 19 of whom were killed and 116 injured.
To help those affected by explosive devices left over from the conflict, UNICEF Nepal and Handicap International launched a handbook entitled ‘Providing Victim Assistance in Nepal – A Handbook for Assisting Victims of Explosive Devices’ today in the presence of the Honourable Mr. Rakam Chemjong, Minister of Peace and Reconstruction, UNICEF Nepal Representative Gillian Mellsop, Handicap International Country Director Florrent Milesi, and Steve Robinson Programme Manager of UN Mine Action Team.
The handbook is a practical guide for providing assistance to those affected by explosive devices in Nepal. The assistance comes in the form of aid, relief, comfort, and support aimed at meeting the immediate and long term needs of victims of explosive devices. The handbook also includes a directory of contacts for Government, Non-Governmental Organizations and International Non-Governmental Organizations which offer victim assistance at the national level as well as in the districts.
“During the conflict, thousands of people, mainly children, were casualties of explosive devices in Nepal,” said Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF Nepal Representative. “The human and social impact of this dangerous legacy continues to be a significant humanitarian concern.”
Appreciating the government’s commitment to move forward on compliance with the Mine Ban Treaty to make Nepal free from landmines and explosives, Ms. Mellsop added, “We believe that the handbook is an important tool to help all victims of landmines and explosive devices understand their rights and better access the services that they are entitled to.”
To ensure that the handbook reaches all those targeted, 5,000 copies have been produced which are being disseminated widely at national and local level. All the relevant Ministries, the Local and Women Development Offices, Disabled People Organizations, and all 4,000 plus Village Development Committees and other relevant networks will be used to disseminate the handbook.
The hand book is produced by UNICEF and Handicap International in close collaboration with the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction and with support from European Commission Humanitarian Aid (ECHO).
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