On 22 and 23 February 2016, PHASE Nepal conducted a two-day Cash Distribution programme in the village of Jamire, a municipality of Melamchi located in Sindhupalchowk. The funds were provided by PHASE’s donor Caritas Germany, and reached 796 households of the area.
This was a unique programme as Melamchi is not a project area in which PHASE regularly works. The funds used for the Cash Distribution programme were originally left over from a winterization project completed in Tauthali, Sindhupalchowk. After meeting with the CDO (Chief District Officer) and DDRC (District Disaster Risk Committee) of Sindhupalchowk, it was requested that these funds be distributed in Melamchi. The DDRC stated that they lacked a sufficient budget from the Government of Nepal to accommodate the entirety of the Melamchi municipality, and so PHASE was asked to organize the programme in Jamire.
In the aftermath of the April 2015 earthquakes, each household in Sindhupalchowk was provided an Earthquake Victim Card by the Government of Nepal. Individuals must present their card to receive aid from the government or other organisations. For the Cash Distribution programme, each household’s cardholder was given 10,000 NPR. All households were from Ward 14 of Melamchi.
Because households were given the freedom to spend their funds as needed, this programme was seen as a form of empowerment for the earthquake victims of Sindhupalchowk. While many projects intended for winter preparedness have benefitted this community with important materials like blankets, PHASE’s Cash Distribution programme allowed cardholders to make their own financial decisions and purchase whatever they needed for the upcoming months. Interviews with recipients revealed a variety of their intended purchases.