Partners ‘interested’ to co-chair donor meeting

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Partners ‘interested’ to co-chair donor meeting

May 17, 2015-

Several development partners, including Nepal’s immediate neighbours—India and China—have expressed interest to co-chair the upcoming international donor conference on reconstruction, an initiative that will be led by the Nepal government.

The government has not finalised either the venue or the date for such a meet but officials suggest it could take place sometime in July.

Ahead of the conference, by June 10, the government will provide Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) to Nepal’s development partners and the international donor community.

“It is too early to disclose which of the donors want to co-chair and provide the venue. It is a sensitive matter,” said a senior Finance Ministry official.

The government aims to raise $2 billion as financial assistance, aid and other logistical support from international donors and Nepal’s development partners.

“Several development partners and friendly countries have offered to co-chair the conference as well as to provide the venue,” said Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat. “But, as of now, our position is to organise such a conference in Kathmandu.

“If the situation does not improve, if aftershocks continue to occur and hotels in Kathmandu are unsafe to live in, we will seek an alternative venue,” he said.

India and China and other development partners such as the United States, the European Union, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have also expressed their interest to co-chair and provide venue for the government initiative. During the ADB’s annual general meeting recently held in Baku, Azerbaijan, Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso was the first to offer to co-host the conference.

The World Bank has expressed its desire to host the event in Paris, while the ADB wants to convene it in Manila, India in New Delhi and China in Beijing or any other ‘neutral venue’.

“Only if the summit cannot be held in Kathmandu for logistical reasons will we opt for a neutral venue,” said Finance Minister Mahat.

Two government agencies—Finance and Foreign Ministries—are preparing for the conference. Once relief distribution becomes normal, they will expedite talks with the local development partners about the prospects of aid requirement and the issue of co-chairing and venue, said a senior Foreign Ministry official.


Published: 18-05-2015 08:47

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