US to help Nepal build back better: American diplomat

Press Trust of India (Washington June 24)

As enter recovery and reconstruction phase after the two devastating earthquakes, America’s goal is to help the Himalayan democracy “build back better”, the US ambassadorial nominee to the country has said.

“Our government is preparing for a large recovery and reconstruction effort in Nepal,” Alaina B Teplitz , the US ambassadorial nominee for Nepal, told members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee during her confirmation hearing.

“As Nepal moves to the reconstruction phase, we will work with its government and its neighbors in to help it to build back better – to provide protection to the most vulnerable, to improve resiliency against future disasters, and to ensure that investments in Nepal’s infrastructure are economically sound and environmentally sustainable,” she said.

Testifying before the Committee, Teplitz said as the US works to help Nepal’s economy grow, it must look to leverage its location among the booming economies of South Asia.

“With more investments in infrastructure, the creation of a business- and investment-friendly environment, and a more integrated regional market, Nepal’s entrepreneurs could harness the region’s economic potential and create tremendous prosperity for their nation,” she said.

Nepal’s recent eligibility for a Millennium Challenge Corporation Compact should help it develop some of that economic potential.

“If confirmed, I will actively look for opportunities to improve the business environment and support American investment in Nepal,” the ambassadorial nominee said today.

Noting that maintaining peace will require a firm commitment to human rights, she said if confirmed, the promotion and protection of human rights will remain a central priority for Mission in Kathmandu.

“This especially includes protections for Tibetan refugees, for women, for disadvantaged populations, and for those vulnerable to trafficking,” she added.

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