UK pledges continued support

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

May 19, 2015-

The British government has assured that it will keep on assisting Nepal in its reconstruction and rehabilitation bids.

The assurance came on Tuesday after visiting Secretary of State for International Development of the United Kingdom, Justine Greening MP, held separate meetings with Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat and Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey.

Greening assured that British cooperation to Nepal will continue in the post-disaster reconstruction and rehabilitation phase, particularly through programmes on economic development, job creation and livelihood, said a statement issued by the British Embassy.

Minister Pandey thanked the government and people of the UK for the sympathy and solidarity they expressed to the people of Nepal, and for the emergency rescue and relief support provided at the hour of great tragedy.

Stating that a conference of development partners will soon be convened in Kathmandu in which the government will present a comprehensive plan to its development partners, Minister Pandey said Nepal is seeking contributions from the UK to the recently created Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Fund.

The British side also raised the issue of Nepal government prohibiting the aid-laden British Chinook helicopters from flying into Nepal in the wake of the April 25 earthquake. In response, Minister Pandey told Greening that the prohibition was purely due to technical reasons like weak airstrip and difficult terrain.   

In her meeting with Finance Minister Mahat, Greening said that the UK has been increasing annual aid to Nepal, and in the aftermath of the earthquake, the British government is ready to assist Nepal in various programmes directed to reconstruction and rehabilitation bids.

She told Minister Mahat that fund and programmes that Nepal needs for reconstruction is very important and framework for program should come in a clear way, said a statement issued by the Finance Ministry.

Mahat told Greening that Nepal needs huge international support from donor community and development partners to rehabilitate the earthquake victims and rebuild the damaged buildings and heritage sites.

“It is our preliminary estimate that it will cost around US $ 5 billion for reconstruction for these damaged private and public structures where real picture will be made available ahead of international donor conference in July. We expect high level participation from donor community and development partners and want to see some kind of announcement of aid during the conference,” Mahat told Greening.

Modi’s secy assures Indian help in reconstruction, rehab

Pramod Mishra, additional secretary of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Tuesday called on Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and pledged India’s support to Nepal government in reconstruction and rehabilitation works.

“India will remain by Nepal’s side and continue to lend its support in the relief, reconstruction and rehabilitation works,” Mishra conveyed Modi’s message to Prime Minister Koirala, according to the statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Private Secretariat. Mishra, who led the Gujarat Disaster Management Authority and worked in capacity of chief executive from 2001 to 2004, told Prime Minister Koirala that since Modi had closely seen and experienced the devastation and pain caused by the 2001 Gujarat earthquake , he is keen to help Nepal.

Prime Minister Koirala informed Mishra that search and rescue works have come to an end and rehabilitation works are underway at present.

He also told the visiting Indian official that the demand for roofing sheets is high for constructing temporary shelters.

Mishra also and held meetings with Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat and Vice-chairman of National Planning Commission and discussed Nepal’s post-distaste preparedness plan in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of April 25.

Published: 20-05-2015 07:53

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