Swaraj to attend Nepal donors’ conference in Kathmandu

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will represent India at a global donors’ conference in Kathmandu, which aims at raising funds for rebuilding the earthquake-hit country.

The conference, to be held June 25, will seek to focus global efforts to help the quake-ravaged Himalayan state, which needs at least $6 billion for reconstruction.

Early this month, Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala had invited his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi to visit the country to address the first donors’ conference in Kathmandu. He had also briefed Mr Modi about the steps his government is taking for carrying out the rehabilitation and reconstruction process in Nepal.

The prime minister, however, has nominated Mrs Swaraj to represent India at the global meet.

The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that devastated Nepal in April this year, followed by the numerous aftershocks, is estimated to have caused losses of around $6 billion. The massive earthquake destroyed over half a million homes, about 10,000 schools and various government offices and commercial establishments. It killed about 9,000 people and injured nearly 30,000 people across the country.

India has set up a $2-billion fund for reconstruction and rebuilding Nepal.

Mr Modi has assured Mr Koirala of India’s “unwavering and sustained” support to Nepal in its ongoing rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts. Mr. Modi has underlined that India would respect and be with Nepal in all its decisions regarding rehabilitation works.


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