World Bank commits largest ever grant to Nepal

Kathmandu, November 8:

The World Bank today committed $250 million and an addition of $120 million grant, the largest ever grant to Nepal for this year.

The donors community on the occasion also showed their commitment that they stand with Ne-pali people on the mission of peace building and state restructuring.

Ad Melkert, UN under-secretary general and associate administrator, UNDP said that Nepal faces a challenge to bridge gap between the rich and poor. “Time is running out,” he said adding that the hard days will be overcome by national reconciliation and engagement of international community.

“Equality in policy and equal opportunity in practice can only ensure the MDGs and international community is ready to help Nepal in development, peace process and stability,” he added.

Dr Ram Sharan Mahat, finance minister expressed government’s commitment on scaling up the quality of physical infrastructures in rural areas so that people can create and take advantage of economic development. “Community approach to development works best during conflict period,” he said.

Ian Martin, special representative of the UNGS moderated the second session on ‘Securing the Peace’, where Dr Minendra Rijal, a seasoned democrat, highlighted importance of reform in agriculture and land for Nepal’s development. “Nepal should focus on agriculture,” Dr Baburam Bhattarai, one of the chief ideologues and second-in-command of Maoists said adding that industrialisation and more employment creation is vital.

“We should build the basis for future growth in income and employment for the reduction of poverty,” Prakash Chandra Lohani, former finance minister, said adding that investments in infrastructure, power generation, irrigation and telecommunication are need of the hour.

Dr Dilli Raj Khanal, MP of UML, stressed on security for investment and infrastructure development.

Earlier, welcoming the participants, Praful Patel, vice-president of World Bank for South Asia asked Nepal to come forward with what it wants. Similarly, Susan Goldmark, country director of Nepal’s long-time development partner expre-ssed solidarity with Nepali people.