Heifer International Nepal
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Heifer Nepal applauded for its unique earthquake recovery project

Heifer International Nepal launched its project "Helping Earthquake-Affected Livestock in Nepal" (HEAL-NEPAL) on 21 August, 2015. The event was chaired by Mr. Uttam Kumar Bhattarai, Secretary of Ministry of Agricultural Development (MOAD) and chief guest of the event was Honorable Dr. Bharatendu Mishra, Member of National Planning Commission (NPC). 

Honorable Dr. Bharatendu Mishra, Member of National Planning commission during the event

Special guests included Dr. Beth Dunford, Mission Director, USAID/Nepal, Mr. Bill Berger, USAID/OFDA and Dr. Keshav P. Premy, Director General, Department of Livestock Services (DLS). HEAL-NEPAL project is a 3 months project which has been funded by USAID/OFDA and being implemented by Heifer Nepal in collaboration with Ministry of Agricultural Development's Department of Livestock Services Office. The goal of this project is to support 60,000 people (in 12,000 households) by restoring disrupted livestock services and protecting livestock assets so that rural households can revive economic activities.This work will take place in 90 of the hardest hit Village Development Committees (VDC) in Gorkha, Sindhupalchok, Dhading, Nuwakot and Kavre districts. In addition to the 12,000 smallholder farm families the project will serve, HEAL-Nepal estimates another 150,000 families will benefit indirectly through improved accessibility to the restored livestock service systems.

Dr. Keshav Premy, Director General, DLS during the event

Dr. Beth Dunford, Mission Director for USAID/Nepal shared, " In Nepal the importance of livestock is immense, for farmers it is their savings account, the income from which is invested in critical necessities such as food, education, health services etc. Through this partnership, it is our hope to strengthen livestock sector. USAID is committed to work with MOAD to support rebuilding and improving their livelihoods. And Heifer is our close partner in ending hunger and poverty. "Mr. Bill Berger, Senior Regional Advisor, USAID/OFDA shared, "I would like to congratulate and express my gratitude towards the government of Nepal and Heifer International Nepal for their hard work in this project.

Mr. Bill Berger, Senior Regions Advisor, USAID OFDA during the event

HEAL-NEPAL will allow families in most heavily affected areas help cope with massive devastation of the Earthquake through recovery of livelihoods and increased income." Honorable Dr. Bharatendu Mishra, Member, National Planning Commission shared that, "It is impressive that USAID, Heifer and DLS is working so effectively in recovery of smallholder's livelihood through relief of livestock at such a critical time." Dr. Mishra applauded Heifer for working in this unique earthquake relief project at a time when most of relief work was being on other sectors. Dr. Keshav P. Premy, Director General, Department of Livestock Services (DLS) shared, " Heifer is the first INGO that has focused in providing relief to livestock. This is very important in case of developing countries like Nepal. Here people care about their livestock and their health dearly because their families' livelihood depends on it." He assured Heifer that DLS was fully committed towards relief of livestock and will provide full support in implementation of HEAL – NEPAL. 

Dr. Shubh addressing the audience

Dr. Shubh N. Mahato, Nepal Country Director shared, "After the massive Nepal earthquake, all national and international support was focus rescue and relief of humans which is natural. In the initial period, Heifer worked on providing relief to victim families. During this crisis, Heifer believed providing relief and medical services to the suffering livestock would bring great relief to the victim families." He expressed his gratitude towards USAID/OFDA for their financial support and DLS for support in implementation and making this project possible.

By Alina Karki

Photos by Heifer Nepal