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Intl donors pledge USD 4.4 bn to rebuild quake-hit Nepal

Last Updated : 25 June 2015, 15:41 IST
Last Updated : 25 June 2015, 15:41 IST

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Led by India and China, global donors today pledged nearly USD 4.4 billion aid to quake-hit Nepal for the country's massive reconstruction efforts and to revive its economy, with the Nepalese Prime Minister vowing "zero-tolerance" to corruption in disbursing the relief money.

The International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction (ICNR) - 2015 concluded today with pledges from donor nations and multilateral agencies of around USD 4.4 billion, Finance Minister Ramsharan Mahat said at a press meet here.

"Nepal's closest neighbours India and China made substantial commitments, which is very encouraging and overwhelming," Mahat said.

At the day-long conference, India announced the largest aid of USD 1 billion. Pledging the aid, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj asserted that India will strongly stand behind Nepal seeking to "wipe the tears" of every Nepali.

She said a quarter of the billion-dollar aid will be a grant and it will be over and above India's existing bilateral developmental assistance of another USD 1 billion over the next 5 years, which takes the total amount to USD 2 billion.

At the conference, China pledged USD 500 million to help the country rebuild after the quake.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi offered a concessional loan from Silk Road Fund to Nepal's reconstruction efforts. China will offer training to 1,500 Nepalis over the next year.

China has also made a commitment to provide another USD 277 million as grant to Nepal from an earlier commitment. Japan announced an assistance of USD 260 million.
Japan will help in rebuilding 7,000 quake-proof schools in collaboration with Asian Development Bank, Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi said.

Nepal also received additional pledges of USD 600 million from the Asian Development Bank, USD 130 million from the US, USD 100 million from the EU as well as an earlier announcement of up to USD 500 million from the World Bank.

Nepal has said it needs around USD 6.7 billion to recover from the disaster, the worst in eight deacdes.

Earlier, opening the international donors conference, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, pledged to ensure complete transparency in the massive reconstruction efforts, seeking to allay international donors' fears over corruption.

"I assure you that we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that your support reaches the intended beneficiaries, he said.

"We are committed to ensure that transparency remains at the core of the reconstruction effort," said Koirala.

"I assure you my government will have zero-tolerance towards corruption, he said.

The powerful earthquake on April 25 and a strong aftershock on May 12 killed nearly 9,000 people, injured 23,000 people and damaged more than 500,000 buildings leaving hundreds of thousands of people jobless.

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Published 25 June 2015, 15:41 IST

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