Money

World Bank gives Nepal $155.7 million in financial assistance

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Nov 15, 2018-

The World Bank on Wednesday provided financial assistance of $155.7 million to the government to invest in the construction and maintenance of safe, resilient and cost-effective bridges in Nepal and improving food security of vulnerable households and communities. The fund will be invested in strategic road networks and food and nutrition enhancement projects.

“These two projects are expected to ensure better livelihoods, access, and trade opportunities for thousands of Nepalis,” said Finance Minister Yuba Raj Khatiwada.

The first credit of $133 million will be mobilised in the country’s strategic roads network, comprising of around 12,142 km of national highways, feeder roads and other roads of national importance.

The second project will be in the form of a grant of $22.7 million that will contribute to the government’s capacity to deliver agriculture extension services at the decentralised levels and to diversify income opportunities for the rural poor.

The first credit will finance the $ 133 million second bridges improvement and maintenance programme targeting around 477 bridges along Nepal’s strategic roads network. This includes maintenance support for 90 bridges and upgrading road safety measures on 180 existing bridges to help reduce accidents, injuries, and fatalities.

The programme will also support construction, rehabilitation or replacement of 80 new two-lane bridges and 35 four-lane bridges. In addition, it will help the Department of Roads to complete construction of 92 bridges that are vital to improving connectivity and access throughout Nepal.

“We are deepening our collaboration with Nepal through the development and sustainability of key strategic bridges and enhancing food security and nutrition. These contribute greatly to Nepal’s development by addressing the need for connectivity, human capital development and shared prosperity,” said Hartwig Schafer, Vice President of World Bank for South Asia Region.

Similarly, the multi-donor Global Agriculture and Food Security Programme (GAFSP) will provide a $22.7 million grant to support the Food and Nutrition Enhancement Project. The project aims to improve the health and livelihoods of around 65,000 direct beneficiaries, of which 65 percent will target women.

It will work with smallholders and marginal farmers to improve nutritional behavior by linking it with agriculture-related and income-enhancing activities. In addition, farmers from adjacent communities are expected to indirectly benefit through knowledge exchanges and other engagements from project-supported farmers.

Two separate agreements were signed by Finance Secretary Rajan Khanal and the World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan, Qimiao Fan, in Kathmandu.

Published: 15-11-2018 10:04

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