KATHMANDU: Hundreds of delegates from several countries will gather in Kathmandu on Thursday, in a show of solidarity for the country, which suffered huge losses due to the devastating tremors in April and May.
As of today, 239 delegates from 53 countries and agencies have confirmed participation for the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction, being held with the theme, ‘Towards a Resilient Nepal’, Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat told journalists at a press conference held in the Ministry of Finance. The government is holding the conference to discuss best international reconstruction practices and find out a way forward for Nepal. Also, many foreign governments and agencies will identify areas where they can extend support and make pledges for financial assistance. “The government will reach out to these countries and agencies at a later date based on commitments expressed during the conference,” said Minister Mahat, who is also the coordinator of the conference organising committee.
A report on Post Disaster Needs Assessment, prepared by the National Planning Commission, has estimated the total value of disaster effects at Rs 706 billion. Of this amount, Rs 517 billion represent the value of destroyed physical assets, and Rs 189 billion reflect the losses and higher costs of production of goods and services arising from the disaster.
The report estimates financial requirement of at least Rs 669 billion for rehabilitation and reconstruction. But the country is not in a position to mobilise all the financial resources on its own due to ‘slowdown in revenue growth as a result of disrupted business activities’.
So, the main purpose of the conference is to secure funding commitments from countries and agencies to make effective recovery from the devastating tremors. In this regard, the government had extended invitations to 70 countries and bilateral and multilateral agencies.
As of today, 139 delegates from 30 different countries, 78 delegates from 19 different multilateral agencies have confirmed participation.
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These delegates include foreign ministers of China, India and Norway, finance ministers of Bangladesh and Bhutan, disaster management minister of Sri Lanka and Japanese minister of state for foreign affairs.
Presidents of ADB and JICA and vice president of the World Bank have agreed to join the conference.