New grant

As the mercury dips fast in the mountains of Nepal, I cannot help but feel sad for the survivors of the 25 April earthquake and its major aftershock on 12 May – still many are having to fend for themselves in the cold in temporary shelters.

But today I am glad to have taken a step further to help in the recovery process. Today I signed on behalf of the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) a grant agreement with the Government of Nepal to rebuild schools, provide micro loans to help restore livelihoods, and to boost awareness of disasters in the 14 districts most severely affected by the quake.

This $15 million grant adds to the $3 million disaster response grant ADB approved on 27 May and a $200 million emergency loan approved on 24 June. With this new grant, we want to restore the school enrollment rates of girls and boys in the primary and the secondary levels to the pre-earthquake level—98% at the primary and 67% at the secondary level—by 2018...