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Nepal to hold donor conference on post-quake reconstruction

Press Trust of India  |  Kathmandu 

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will be among a host of leaders who will attend an international donor conference here for reconstruction efforts following the devastating earthquake that hit Nepal in April.

The International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction (ICNR) 2015 is scheduled to take place here on June 25 to raise international assistance for rebuilding the country ravaged by the April 25 earthquake and its aftershocks.

Besides Swaraj, foreign ministers from China and Norway, finance ministers from Bhutan and Bangladesh and Disaster Management Minister from Sri Lanka have confirmed their participation in the international conference, Nepalese Finance Minister Ram Shara Mahat said today.

Nepal had initially invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to attend the conference.

President of the Manila-based Asian Development Bank, Vice-president of the World Bank, President of Japan International Technical Cooperation (JAICA), Commissioner of the European Union and the UN Deputy General Secretary of the United Nations have also confirmed their participation.

So far, 53 countries and international agencies have confirmed their participation and 239 representatives are attending the conference.

The theme of the conference is 'Towards Resilient Nepal' which will be inaugurated by Koirala, who will pitch for commitments from governments to rebuild his country.

The international delegates will be taken to Basantapur Durbarsquare and Sankhu in Kathmandu as well as some other sites which were severely damaged by the recent earthquakes.

The Nepal government has prepared a Post Disaster Need Assessment (PDNA) involving nearly USD 7 billion or about NRs 706 billion for revival of the country from the disaster.

Of the total cost of reconstruction, NRs 517 billion or 76 per cent represents the value of destroyed assets and NRs 189 billion or 24 per cent represents the losses and extra cost of production of goods and services arising from the disaster, says the PDNA prepared by the National Planning Commission.

Nepal will not only seek grant assistance, but we will also welcome soft loans, technical assistance, recommendations and suggestions as well as sharing experiences from the international community during the one-day conference, said Mahat.

The powerful earthquake killed nearly 9,000 people, injured 23,000 people and damaged more than 500,000 buildings leaving hundreds of thousands of people jobless.

Nearly one million people have been pushed into poverty due to the quake. The government's estimate has put the need for reconstruction and rebuilding of the country at USD 6.66 billion, Mahat said.

Mahat said that the reconstruction and rebuilding works will be complete within five years.

He said all preparations are in the final stage for convening the international meeting.

First Published: Tue, June 23 2015. 18:22 IST