KATHMANDU: The government of Japan has agreed to provide a grant assistance of approximately Rs 249.9 million (equivalent to Japanese Yen 300 million) to the government of Nepal for the implementation of School Sector Reform Programme (SSRP) extension plan.

A note to this effect was signed and exchanged between the government of Nepal and the government of Japan at the Ministry of Finance today.

The exchange of note was signed by Finance Secretary Suman Prasad Sharma and Ambassador of Japan to Nepal, Masashi Ogawa, on behalf their respective governments.

The government of Nepal has been executing SSRP under the Sector Wide Approach modality since 2009 with its objective of improving literacy for all in general and deprived communities in particular and ensuring quality, free and compulsory basic education.

The government has decided to extend its implementation period for another two years. The programme was originally planned to complete in 2013/14.

On the occasion, Joint Secretary of International Economic Cooperation Coordination Division (IECCD) at the Ministry of Finance, Madhu Kumar Marasini and Chief Representative of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) Tsutomu Shimizu, signed on grant agreement and Memorandum of Understanding.

Speaking on the occasion, the Japanese Ambassador said that the grant was provided to the government of Nepal at a time when the country is facing great losses and damages to the education sector.

He assured that Japan is willing to support Nepal’s efforts in the post-disaster recovery and reconstruction.

Finance Secretary Sharma expressed sincere appreciation to the government of Japan for the assistance extended in critical juncture and also for its continued support in the socio-economic development of Nepal.

Both the Ambassador and the Finance Secretary believed that this support will help further strengthen the existing bilateral relations between the two countries.