Temblors upset bid to graduate from LDC

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

May 18, 2015-

Nepal’s bid to graduate from least developed country (LDC) to a developing one by 2022 has taken a back-seat following the Great Earthquake, Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey said on Monday.

The April 25 quake came as a big setback for Nepal as we were planning to graduate from LDCs, he said in a press conference.

At the moment of this crisis, Pandey said, the government has appealed to the national and international stakeholders for support.

Support from the international community, according to him, would be crucial to transform Nepal into a vibrant nation.

“As per our request, we have received generous support from various friendly countries and development partners in the aftermath of the quake,” said Pandey, adding that diplomatic initiatives have been ramped up to appeal for further support from the international community.

Minister Pandey reiterated that development partners should extend their assistance through the government channel and that they would be allowed to run the government-approved programmes only.

“Donors cannot carry out their own programmes like building houses for the earthquake victims independently. They have to coordinate with the government projects and programmes before putting the money in such undertakings,” Pandey said.

As of Monday, the Prime Minister Disaster Relief Fund has received more than Rs 1.63 billion, of which over Rs 280 million was collected by the Nepali missions abroad. Nepal received various kinds of assistance from 60 countries around the world in the wake of the April 25 earthquake. Disaster response teams from 18 countries that had arrived for search and rescue have already left after completing their job. Those teams that are still in the country are engaged in relief works.

Pandey: Nepal-UK relations unruffled

Minister Pandey has said that the government decision to prohibit British Chinook helicopters from flying to Nepal has not affected Nepal-UK relations.

“The UK government understands the technical reason behind our rejection for banning Chinook helicopters,” he said.

The twin-engine heavy helicopter was banned considering the damage it might cause in rural areas.

Meanwhile, UK Minister for International Development Cooperation Justine Greening is arriving in Kathmandu on Tuesday to assess the situation of Nepal in the aftermath of the quake and the ongoing aid works run by the British government.

Published: 19-05-2015 07:56

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