Nepal | April 23, 2019

WB to announce support package soon

Himalayan News Service

KATHMANDU: The World Bank (WB) will soon announce a comprehensive support package for Nepal to aid reconstruction in the aftermath of the earthquake.

“Subject to Board approval, this will consist of budget and financial sector support and finance for housing reconstruction in poor rural areas,” says a WB statement.

The bank is also planning to redirect money from existing projects and set up a Multi-Donor Trust Fund (MDTF), which will help Nepal’s partners coordinate their financing in reconstruction effort.

“As we prepare to extend this support to the areas of Nepal damaged by the earthquake, we will ensure that the development needs in other parts of the country continue to be met,” the statement quoted WB Country Manager for Nepal Takuya Kamata as saying. “We also need to remember that for many people in Nepal, the disaster is far from over. Humanitarian relief efforts remain critical and must continue with reconstruction.”

An assessment of the impact of a recent earthquake and major aftershocks shows that Nepal’s recovery needs amount to the equivalent of a third of its economy.

The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report says quake and aftershocks inflicted damage worth $5.15 billion and losses worth $1.9 billion, and the country will need $6.6 billion to make quick recovery — roughly a third of the economy.

“The PDNA results show that reconstruction will be costly and time-consuming,” said WB Country Director for Nepal Johannes Zutt. “To raise the money needed, there must first be clear plans on how it will be spent. To this end, the World Bank is working with the government to develop credible recovery programmes that will be implemented with transparency and accountability for the benefit of those who lost the most from the disaster.”

Early estimates also suggest that an additional three per cent of the population has been pushed into poverty as a direct result of the earthquakes. This translates into as many as a million more poor people.

“The economy of Nepal took a huge hit from these earthquakes and there is a danger that many of the country’s impressive gains in overcoming poverty could be reversed unless this challenge is addressed in a decisive way,” the statement quoted Annette Dixon, vice president for the South Asia Region at the World Bank, as saying.

“The country needs resources to pay for the recovery that can be channelled through credible programmes to make itself more resilient to the next natural disaster and ensure that those most in need receive the help they deserve.”

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