Kathmandu(Pahichan) July 7 – During the Gender Working Group Multi-Stakeholder Forum meeting on 18th June 2015 a presentation was held on the earthquake’s impact on LGBTI communities by the NGOs Blue Diamond Society (BDS) and the Federation of Sexual and Gender Minorities in Nepal (FSGMN). The NGOs highlighted the following. There is no official government data available on the earthquake-affected population of LGBTI but some data has been collected through the BDS and the FSGMN.
Landlords of LGBTI whose rented houses sustained the earthquake, either doubled the rent price or asked them to leave the house because of their LGBTI identity. Lack of livelihood alternatives has driven many into sex work and due to the limited supply of contraception in the current context many LGBTI sex workers are put at enhanced risk of unsafe sexual practice. Many transgender either lack ID documentation needed to access relief or their ID do not match with the gender they identify as, and this has created further difficulties in their access to relief and recovery support.
As most of the emergency response efforts target families, this risks excluding LGBTI. Many LGBTI faced difficulties accessing toilets after the earthquake at relief camps as the toilet facilities in camps are not inclusive. Due to post-earthquake trauma and continuous discrimination many LGBTIs are facing severe mental health problems. In terms of response the Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare has allocated funds for LGBTI programmes and BDS and FSGMN SGMN has received relief support from several organizations (Save the Children, UNICEF, Red Cross and NRCS) which was distributed in Kavre, Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk.
LGBTI issues were incorporated in the flash appeal. BDS and FGSMN are calling forincorporating LGBTI needs in all plans, policies and programmes for relief, rehabilitation, rebuilding and recovery to make sure they are inclusive, and to collect data on LGBTI in needs assessments.