Donor community renews support to reconstruction

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 25, 2016-

Major donors and Red Cross—the largest humanitarian partner—have renewed their support for reconstruction bid in Nepal as the country commemorated the first anniversary of the devastating earthquake.

This is one of the most daunting natural catastrophes ever in Nepal’s history, European partners said in a joint statement on Sunday. 

As part of a larger response, European Partners, including the European Union (EU), the United Kingdom, Germany, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, Finland and France have collectively pledged 328.75 million euros approx Rs39.3 billion) for the relief, recovery and reconstruction efforts. 

The donor community, including India, China, Japan, World Bank and Asian Development Bank, has pledged over $4 billion in support to Nepal in the face of last April’s quake that killed nearly 8,000 people and left more than half a million families homeless.

“This tangible sign of solidarity was made during the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction (ICNR) in June 2015,”the statement says.“The people of Nepal, who have shown admirable resilience in the face of adversity, aspire to build back better the devastated areas.”

But the donors have raised concerns over lack of political commitment on reconstruction, slow pace of reconstruction work and dearth of manpower to assist the National Reconstruction Authority.    

“The NRA has been established and it is important that this body has the means to fully embrace its role,” it says, adding “The European Partners will support a pivotal role of a strong NRA and we are committed to firmly stand by Nepal as a friend in times of need and to contribute to the reconstruction process.”

Similarly, Japan also renewed its commitment towards the reconstruction bid. “The government of Japan and JICA have already started the support to the NRA, in cooperation with other international donors, to reconstruct damaged houses and school buildings in the most damaged districts,” the Japanese Embassy said in a statement. 

The Red Cross, meanwhile, said that shelter remains the foremost humanitarian priority need yet thousands of survivors are still living in sub-standard temporary shelters which is “compromising their dignity”.

Welcoming the progress from the government in finalising guidance on reconstruction to channel support for people to rebuild their homes, the Red Cross reasserted its committed to improving disaster-preparedness and building safer communities in Nepal for the long term. “The organisation said Nepal Red Cross Society, supported by Red Cross and Red Crescent partners from around the world, had reached more than three million people with emergency help,” it said in a statement.

Published: 25-04-2016 07:10

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