(Press Trust of India, Feb 9, WASHINGTON)– The US government has proposed a four-fold jump in relief to Nepal at $64 million as part of its aid to rebuild the country after the 2015 devastating earthquake killed nearly 9,000 people and destroyed thousands of buildings.
In his annual budget sent to the Congress for the 2016-2017 fiscal year beginning October 1, 2016, Secretary of State John Kerry proposed a 64 million for Nepal in economic support fund (ESF) as against just actual 14.5 million in 2015. “US assistance will be used to foster economic growth, and support reconstruction of houses, schools, and livelihoods in Nepal following the devastating April 2015 earthquake,” the State Department said in its budgetary proposals. Resources will also be used to increase agricultural productivity and promote changes in nutrition habits in order to lower the poverty rate and increase food security, it said.
Additionally, US assistance will be used to improve resource management, adaptation to climate change and protect biodiversity. ESF will also be used to strengthen national disaster institutions in order to increase Nepal’s preparedness and response to future natural disasters, it added.
“US assistance will also help increase effective governance through support for constitutional reform, increased political competition, improved government institutions, and a more strategic and effective civil society that advances the public interest,” the State Department said.
The deadly temblors that took place last year in April and May killed nearly 9,000 people and completely destroyed around 6,00,000 private houses, affected livelihoods of about 5.6 million workers and caused damage and losses worth around $7 billion.