Pledging Statement by Dr. P. K. Misra, Additional Principal Secretary to Indian PM


His Excellency Dr. Ram Saran Mahat,

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

Let me thank the Government of Nepal, in particular the National Planning Commission of Nepal and its Chairman Dr. Govind Raj Pokharel for presenting to the international community a comprehensive post-disastaer needs assessment.

 

The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment report estimates the total damages and losses to a tune of US $ 7 billion and the reconstruction need of US $ 6. 69 billion. For a developing country this is no small amount. The task of mobilization of financial resources is quite challenging, particularly for developing countries. Nepal will need the support of international donors, development partners, and funding institutions for the same.

 

Efficient and effective utilization of funds can be even more difficult than mobilization of financial resources. Spending billions of dollars in a few districts within a short period of time in a transparent manner to achieve the envisaged outcomes will be a challenge.

 

We hope that the National Reconstruction Authority set up by the Government of Nepal will effectively collaborate with the international and domestic stakeholders and facilitate expeditious implementation of recovery and reconstruction projects.

 

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

The relationship between India and Nepal predates history. There is shared culture, religion, tradition, language, literature, mythology and migration. We are also bound by nature in the unfortunate eventuality of natural disasters.

 

Immediately after the earthquake on 25 April, India proactively rushed to the help of Nepal, working in anticipation of your requirements, but moving ahead always with your due permission. There was a spontaneous outpouring of empathy and instantaneous response from the people and Government of India. We have since worked closely with Government of Nepal on relief and early recovery support to affected families under Operation Maitri.  Disaster response teams of the Indian Armed Forces have worked tirelessly on delivery of relief, Indian voluntary organisations have operated medical relief camps and provided shelter and relief support in affected areas. Our experts have assisted Nepal with technical support in this hour of need. India’s assistance to Nepal under Operation Maitri has been more than US $ 67 million.

 

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

While the relief and rescue phase is over, Nepal now has to embark on a new phase of rehabilitation and reconstruction. In a globalized world neither impacts nor recovery can remain local. They have to be global.

 

The need of the hour is to achieve a sustainable recovery through a paradigm shift from the conventional approach of recovery and relief to one of mitigation and preparedness. There are great challenges in conceptualizing a program in order to address concerns such as providing safe habitat to affected people, restoring livelihood, and putting in place excellent infrastructure. Further, balancing short-term requirements and long-term vision in a comprehensive reconstruction program is a challenge in itself. Apart from rebuilding rural and urban infrastructure, Nepal faces the challenge of restoring living heritage sites like Bhaktapur and Patan. The challenge is unique and the response has to be unique too.

 

Hence the donors have to play an important role not only in giving money, but also in supporting with technical assistance and capacity building.

 

At the directive of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, and as the Hon’ble Minister of External Affairs of India stated today morning, I am pleased to announce Government of India’s Pledge of Nepali Rupees 10,000 crore, that is US$ 1 billion towards recovery and reconstruction of Nepal. This will be in addition to our ongoing economic development and cooperation programme with Nepal, which amounts to another US$ 1 billion over the next five years. Thus our total commitment to Nepal over the forthcoming five-year reconstruction period would be US$ 2 billion.

 

As mentioned by the Minister in her statement this morning, we would like to focus our support on housing and public buildings, heritage sites, infrastructure development like roads, transport and power, agriculture, education, health and hospitals, and disaster risk mitigation.

 

India’s developmental assistance programmes abroad have always been based on the priorities set by the recipient, partner country. In Nepal too, our support will be beneficiary-driven, combining region-based and sector-based approaches and ensuring transparency and accountability in aid delivery. We will also encourage private and voluntary participation along side governmental programmes. While we assist, we also look forward to learning and gaining valuable experience in reconstruction in our shared, Himalayan region.

 

Further, India, in recent years, has also managed a number of reconstruction programs of similar magnitude and complexity besides Gujarat earthquake. Based on these experiences, a range of implementation arrangements have been evolved, including legislative, technical and institutional models.  We would be happy to share these models and extend technical support, which would be useful in the recovery process, as the contexts and characteristics of our communities are very similar.

 

Excellencies,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

 

India stands fully committed to working closely with the Government and people of Nepal towards ensuring a complete recovery from this tragedy, transforming this adversity into an opportunity, and creating a more resilient and economically prosperous Nepal.

 

Thank you.

About us
Nepalforeignaffairs.com is the first digital paper on foreign Affairs in Nepal. With an advancement of technology and digital journalism, we decided to come up with this paper in January 2015. Our aim is to disseminate information, news, articles to the people on different dimensions of foreign affairs.
  :   Editor-in-chief : Gopal Khanal
Contact us
  :   Suyog marg Anamnagar kathmandu Nepal
  :   +977-01-4241948
  :  [email protected]
Social Media