World Bank unveils $500 million package for quake-ravaged Nepal

As Nepal prepares to hold a global donor’s conference on June 25 to mobilise resources to rebuild the quake-ravaged Himalayan nation, the World Bank has announced to provide up to $500 million for rehabilitation and reconstruction work in the Himalayan state.

“We are working with the Government of Nepal and its international partners to help the country get the resources it needs to build back better,” World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said.

“We will do everything possible to help people who suffered from the earthquake, especially the poor, rebuild their homes and livelihoods,” he added.

According to the Nepalese government’s internal assessment of the disaster, Nepal would need about $6.67 billion, which is about one-third of its economy, to repair the damage.

The assistance given by the World Bank will include $200 billion towards Nepal’s rural housing, $100 million towards strengthening its banking system, and an additional $100 to $200 million for carrying out various unspecified reconstruction efforts in the country.

Nepal has sent out invitations to 36 countries, including India, for the June 25 global donor’s conference. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will represent India at the conference.

Earlier, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi had assured his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala of India’s full support and assistance to the country’s reconstruction efforts.

The twin quakes, followed by several aftershocks, struck in April and May, killing about 9,000 people and injuring nearly 30,000 across the country. It destroyed about 160,000 houses, 10,000 schools and various government offices and commercial establishments.

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