Kathmandu– 25 June 2015 marked the date of the international conference for Nepal’s reconstruction and it reportedly ushered in 4.4 bn U.S Dollars to aid in the reconstruction and rehabilitation project.
The earthquake that devastated Nepal on 25 April and its aftershock on 12 May claimed the lives of 9000 people and left many more injured and homeless. The unprecedented scale of destruction has left the country in shambles and the mammoth task of reconstruction looms ominously over Nepal.
Thus to aid in their endeavor 239 representatives from 53 countries attended the conference to pledge their support to the cause. The forerunners at the event included India and China who pledged 1 billion dollars and 483 million dollars respectively to the countries reconstruction efforts. Both superpowers have been vying for influence within the Himalayan Kingdom and have left no stone unturned in its time of need, capitalizing on this opportunity.
Initially India had also contributed to the disaster relief efforts, responding instantaneously to the distress signal from Nepal. Operation Maitri was one of the largest disaster assistance endeavors by India. The rescue team arrived in a record 6 hrs. and the army was deployed to assist too. This was accompanied by the delivery of food and essential medical supplies for the victims of the earthquake.
The World Bank has also decided to loan Nepal half a million dollars to help them get back on their feet. Incidentally Nepal has gone on to say that the internal revenue generated would also fund the reconstruction efforts and is therefore not entirely dependent on foreign aid.
It has also been made clear that while grants and monetary aid is welcome, Nepal also requires help in terms of technical assistance as well as recommendations and suggestions from the international community.
Now the country has to work towards using the funds and expertise gained from other countries in an efficient and transparent manner. Zero corruption will be tolerated, as all funds should ideally reach the victims and those in need.
Summarized eloquently by Sushma Swaraj, “Without doubt, from the debris of destruction, a stronger, united and more confident Nepal will rise”- (External Affairs Minister India).