India pledges $1 billion to quake-hit Nepal
India on Thursday pledged $1 billion in assistance to quake-ravaged Nepal for its massive reconstruction programme. The announcement was made by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the Donors’ Conference in Kathmandu.
“This pledge is over and above our existing bilateral developmental assistance of another one billion US dollars over the next five years, forty per cent of which would be Grant,” she said. Ms. Swaraj conveyed India’s “deep and abiding commitment” to rebuilding of Nepal and highlighted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi ensured a prompt rescue and relief operation within six hours of the 7.9-magnitude April 25 quake. “Today I convey to you the deep and abiding commitment of the Government and 1.25 billion people of India and the personal commitment of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to stand shoulder to shoulder with you as you seek to wipe the tears of every Nepali,” she said.
The International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction has been organized by the Nepalese government to raise funds for rebuilding the country devastated by a powerful earthquake that struck exactly two months back, killing about 9,000 people and injuring around 23,000. The conference was attended by several countries, including China, Britain, Norway, Japan, Sri Lanka, the European Union besides the U.N., World Bank and Asian Development Bank.