Thursday, June 20, 2019

Development partners promise to help 2015-earthquake reconstruction

The development partners – during a meeting of National Reconstruction Authority (NRA)’s Foreign Aid Coordination and Facilitation Committee today – have expressed their will to extend support to the revised programmes and financial plan for the five-year plan for post-disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation that costs Rs 630 billion.
Showing their readiness to support Nepal in post-disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts in the meeting with NRA, they also appreciated the progress in reconstruction.
Acting Country Manager of the World Bank Kene Ezemenari appreciated the progress in reconstruction, whereas head of Cooperation at the European Union (EU) delegation to Nepal Ovidiu Mic said that the EU would continue to provide support to Nepal in reconstruction.
Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of India in Kathmandu Dr Ajaya Kumar, on the occasion, said that India is working to provide the support it committed in the past. Likewise, representative from the Embassy of China in Kathmandu expressed Chinese commitment for necessary support in the future. Likewise, the Department for International Development (UK), USAID, Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) also showed their readiness in helping Nepal in the post-quake reconstruction and rehabilitation.
According to NRA’s new estimation, the total reconstruction cost for the properties damaged by the devastating earthquake in 2015 stands at Rs 630 billion about Rs 308 billion less than the primary estimates made in the immediate aftermath of the quake. “Rs 630 billion is the budget that is implemented by the NRA alone,” according to NRA chief executive officer (CEO) Sushil Gyawali.
The reconstruction authority – in consultation with the Finance Ministry in 2016 – had published the revised estimates of the total reconstruction cost at Rs 938 billion, which the NRA has revised downwards.
Gyawali, on the occasion, said that the new estimates were made after reducing the budget of the infrastructure like water supply, roads and bridges that would be built by the government and reconstruction of private houses and other structures by the national and international Non-Government Organisations (NGOs).
The NRA statistics revealed that about Rs 291 billion will be spent by the end of the current fiscal year 2018-19. Finance Minister Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada has allocated Rs 141 billion budget for reconstruction related works for the next fiscal. “There is a financial gap in reconstruction and rehabilitation,” Gyawali said, adding that the NRA is, in consultation with the Finance Ministry and development partners, in an effort to arrange funds.
The NRA had urged the development partners to extend additional support in implementing economic and livelihood programmes, localizing the disaster management work, and rebuilding of heritage settlement and urban structure.
The meeting has emphasised amending the National Building Code and implementing it to the local levels.
Nepal, meanwhile, is holding an international conference to impart the knowledge, experience and learning it earned during the post-quake reconstruction and rehabilitation to the international community. 

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