PM seeks aid through official govt window

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Sushil Koirala on Thursday called on the international and donor community to extend support for post-earthquake recovery through Nepal’s official window instead of doing so via non-governmental agencies.

Addressing the inaugural session of International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction (ICNR) 2015, Koirala also tried to assure the donor community that foreign aid would be used for the needy people in an efficient and transparent way.

“National ownership of reconstruction and development agendas, policies, and strategies with a clear set of national priorities will ensure optimal use of scarce resources, capacity and expertise, where needed,” PM Koirala said, addressing ICNR 2015 at Hotel Soaltee Crowne Plaza today. “I therefore call on the distinguished representatives to work with us, the Government of Nepal, in an environment of good faith.”

Referring to prospects of misuse of donor funding, Koirala said “I assure you that we will leave no stone unturned in ensuring that your support reaches the intended beneficiaries. We are committed to ensure that transparency remains at the core of the reconstruction effort.”

Following his address, almost all foreign delegates, including India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Japanese State Minister for Foreign Affairs Minoru Kiuchi univocally called on Nepal to ensure a robust institutional mechanism to utilise funds in efficient and transparent manner.

Koirala stated Nepal was not fully prepared to respond such a Himalayan scale disaster as the country remained mired in protracted political transition following a decade-long armed conflict.

The prime minister, during his address, pledged early recovery aimed at creating a more stable and resilient Nepal, for which he stated that Kathmandu wanted to work in collaboration with donor countries and organisations.

“To overcome the huge challenges of rehabilitation and reconstruction, we need a robust global partnership for doing what we must with clear goals and plans of action,” he added.

Koirala appealed all participating delegates to invest in the country’s sectors of competitive advantage like hydro power, tourism and agriculture and assured creation of enabling institutional, legal and policy arrangements to ensure the protection of foreign investment in Nepal.

Delivering his welcome remarks in the one-day symposium, Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey said Nepali people’s vigour and will power to fight such hardships has not diminished a bit by the April 25 earthquake, which took the lives of 8,841 people and left more than 20,000 injured.