India assures full support to quake-hit Nepal

India assures full support to quake-hit Nepal

India today assured full support to quake-battered Nepal, saying it stands shoulder-to-shoulder with the country in its massive reconstruction efforts.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj conveyed India's unstinted support to the Himalayan nation when she called on Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala here on the first day of her two-day visit.

Swaraj is here to attend an international donors' conference where she is likely to announce a major financial package by India for reconstruction of the quake-hit nation.

"The External Affairs Minister conveyed to the Nepalese Prime Minister that India stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Nepal and offered all possible assistance in its reconstruction activities," spokesperson in the External Affairs Ministry Vikas Swarup told PTI.

He said Swaraj conveyed to Koirala that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is committed to offer "full support" to Nepal and that India will provide whatever the quake-ravaged nation needs.

The International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction (ICNR) has been organised by the Nepalese government to raise funds for carrying out rebuilding of areas devastated by the massive earthquake of April 25 which claimed nearly 9,000 lives.

Koirala had this month called up Modi to invite him for the conference. However, Modi decided to nominate Swaraj for the ICNR.

At least 35 countries are expected to attend the conference to be held in Kathmandu tomorrow.

A report on post-disaster needs assessment will be presented at the conclave specifying the country's requirement for financial and technical support from donor countries and international aid agencies.

Ahead of the meet, Koirala had said that there has been a "big gap" between what Nepal was able to do and what needs to be done.

He said Nepal's resources alone are not enough to meet the "unforeseen and pressing challenges" and called upon international community to help the country.

India had responded promptly after the quake struck Nepal in April, dispatching a large number of rescue teams, doctors and disaster relief experts.

The Indian Air Force and Army had also deployed helicopters and transport aircraft for rescue efforts and to reach relief.

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.

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