India grants $16.2m to UN agencies

  • Aid will help rerebuild 50,000 quake-damaged houses in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts
- Post Report, Kathmandu

Mar 9, 2018-The Indian government has agreed to provide $16.2 million grant to two United Nations (UN) agencies for providing socio-technical facilitation to rebuild 50,000 houses in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts.   

An agreement to this effect was signed by Dr Ajay Kumar, chief of mission at the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Nepal Country Director Renaud Meyer and Sanjay Mathur, regional director, United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) Asia Region amid a programme on Thursday. 

Under the agreement, India will provide $8.79 million to the UNDP and $7.41 million to UNOPS to support safer reconstruction of 50,000 houses in Gorkha and Nuwakot, two of the districts hit hardest by the 2015 earthquake.

According to the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA), reconstruction of as many as 10,288 houses has been completed in Gorkha while 46,517 homes are currently undergoing reconstruction. Likewise, 45,669 homes are being re-constructed while 5,479 home have been reconstructed in Nuwakot district.    

The grant support from India will allow the UNDP and UNOPS to provide socio-technical facilitation to help quake-affected families rebuild their houses. While the UNDP will provide this facilitation to 26,912 houses in Gorkha, UNOPS will cover 23,088 houses in Nuwakot. “The three-year project will help house-owners ensure that their new structures comply with government norms and are earthquake resilient,” the UNDP said in a statement. 

As the NRA, the government agency mandated to carry reconstruction, drive has adopted an owner-driven reconstruction approach, support to house-owners in ensuring access to finance, materials, knowledge, technologies, skills and land or ‘socio-technical facilitation’ become critical to promote safer reconstruction, according to stakeholders. 

Addressing the event, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri said the agreement with the UNDP and UNOPS will enhance the availability of technical knowhow and expertise to house owners in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts to reconstruct their homes with earthquake-resilient features.

Likewise, UNDP Country Director Meyer said that agency looks forward to making this partnership a success to ensure that the poor, vulnerable and marginalised households are able to reconstruct resilient houses speedily while leaving no one behind. 

The project will be implemented in close coordination with the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu, the NRA, the Central Level Project Implementation Units of the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration, the Ministry of Urban Development, and concerned local government offices, municipalities and rural municipalities in the two districts.

After the 2015 Gorkha Earthquake, the Indiat had given a grant of $250m and a $750m Line of Credit for post-earthquake reconstruction of houses, schools, hospitals, and heritage structures.

Published: 09-03-2018 07:38

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