ADB president Takehiko Nakao

ADB president Takehiko Nakao

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved US$ 200 million of funding to help Nepal “build back better” after the April 25 earthquake. The Bank said a further US$ 400 million was available for reconstruction work.

The funds will be used to provide emergency assistance in the aftermath of the earthquake, as well as to rebuild public infrastructure such as roads, schools and other public buildings.

ADB president Takehiko Nakao said, “I truly believe that Nepal will emerge stronger from this catastrophe and continue along the path of inclusive and sustainable growth.”

In addition to the US$ 200 million emergency assistance, a further US$ 50 million is being provided. This includes a US$ 3 million disaster relief grant, US$ 30 million in budget support for rural finance, and a US$ 15 million grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. The ADB added it could allocate a further US$ 350 million to reconstruction work.

While announcing the financing package, Mr Nakao highlighted five principles for effective reconstruction. He said the first was “building back better,” which is to say rebuilding structures to earthquake-resistant standards. The second principle was inclusiveness - paying attention to the needs of the poor, rural residents, and other vulnerable social groups, who have suffered more from the earthquakes than others.

The third need was said to be a robust institutional set up for reconstruction. Mr Nakao said strong leadership was critical for the success of the new agency for reconstruction. Fourth, he highlighted the importance of improved capacity of the government. A sound governance and fiduciary risk management system should be in place. Finally, effective donor coordination and government ownership is critical to successful reconstruction.

Mr Nakao stressed that reconstruction needs should not derail Nepal’s broader development endeavours. “Hard won gains made before the earthquake in poverty reduction, private sector-based growth, and political stability should not be compromised by the tragedy. Reconstruction

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