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Migration and resilience: Experiences from Nepal's 2015 earthquake
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In the aftermath of the M 7.8 earthquake that struck central Nepal on 25 April 2015, and its aftershocks, particularly a major one of M 7.33 on 12 May 2015, issues related to the links between migration and disaster-preparedness as well as coping strategies adopted by the affected population have come to the fore. To examine such linkages, the Centre for the Study of Labour and Mobility (CESLAM) at the Social Science Baha (SSB), with support from the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the International Migration Initiative of the Open Society Foundations, New York, undertook a quick assessment in four of the 14 severely affected districts,4 namely, Sindhupalchowk, Kavrepalanchowk, Dhading and Kathmandu, to understand how households with migrants—both external and internal—have coped with the natural disaster and whether there is any evidence of greater resilience on the part of such households.

The rapid assessment was undertaken over the period 23-29 May 2015, with separate research teams deployed to the four sites. Since the assessment was being conducted not long after the calamity, the situation demanded a certain degree of sensitivity on the part of the researchers. Further, given the dire needs of the affected population in the districts outside Kathmandu, it was agreed that the research would go hand in hand with relief work being conducted by other groups, with SSB making a contribution to the effort as well. But, this also meant that the teams were not able to follow a scientifically rigorous research methodology, and neither could they always adhere to standard ethical practices either. As a result, the selection of research participants, the nature of respondents, and the approach taken by the research team was dependent on the local situation and varied across the research sites. All four teams conducted a short survey to capture some key elements of the migration condition and how that might have affected households. The teams also interviewed people using a checklist that covered the general effect of the earthquake and immediate relief efforts as a means to understanding the impact of the earthquake at the household level, the coping strategies and mechanisms adopted by families, and the role of institutions and the state in rescue and relief.

Findings from this rapid assessment indicate that issues relating to migration are not only important in the context of natural disasters but, going forward, they are also likely to have considerable impact on the recovery and rehabilitation process. It also indicates that there is no one particular way in which migration is likely to influence the post disaster period—the demographics of migrant households, place of origin, severity of impact of the disaster, migrants’ destination, amount and frequency of remittances, the characteristics of remittance recipients, availability of kinship networks, and cost of migration, are among the likely determinants.
The research paper examines the impact of the April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks on a range of of behavioural issues linked to migration.
#Migration #Resilience #NepalEarthquake2015 #InternalMigration #InternationalMigration #MigrantWorkers #ILO
Centre for the Study of Labour and Mobility ,   (2015 )
Type / Script:
Publication in English
Thematic Group:
 Others : Non UN Publisher or Authors
13.02.00  -  Disaster Prevention, Preparedness And Relief
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