The Natural Disaster Relief Act, 1982 of Government of Nepal (GON) is the first Act so far that recognizes earthquake, fire, storm, flood, landslide, heavy rainfall, drought, famine and epidemics as disaster. Natural Disaster Relief Act, 1982 A.D. defines Natural Disaster Relief Work as any relief work to be carried out in the area affected or likely to be affected by the natural disaster in order to remove the grief and inconvenience caused to the people, to rehabilitate the victims of the natural disaster, to protect the public property and life and property of the people, to control and prevent the natural disaster and to make advance preparation thereof. Prior to 1982 A.D. relief and rescue works were carried out as the social works only. It has already been amended twice in 1989 and 1992 A.D.
According to this Act, GON has constituted the Central Disaster Relief Committee under the chairmanship of the Home Minister in order to formulate and implement the policies and programs relating to the natural disaster relief work and to undertake other necessary measures thereof. Moreover, the Central Committee prepares specific norms of relief assistance to be provided to the disaster victims of the affected areas in cash and/or in kind through the District Disaster Relief Committees.