Prime Minister Sushil Koirala will inaugurate International Conference for Nepal's Reconstruction amid the gathering of donors and representatives of different countries.
After the first session of Thursday, the second session will be for pledgings and commitments for reconstruction by the donors and supporters. According to program, two technical sessions will be held for paper presentations. The papers will share knowledge on urban development, rural development, disaster response and rescue efforts, among other things
With high hopes of mobilising funds for the reconstruction of earthquake damage, as many as 239 delegates from 53 countries and high-level officials from the various countries will likely to take part in the conference.
"Donors, development agencies and participating countries will pledge their support and indicate areas for their support during the conference. Discussions at the conference will be on best practices such as the Build, Own, Operate and Transfer (BOOT) model for reconstruction as well as on the good practices of other countries at times of similar disasters," said Finance Minister Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat in a press briefing.
The president of the Asian Development Bank, the vice-president of the World Bank, the president of Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), a commissioner of the European Union and the assistant general secretary of the United Nations are among those to be participating in the one-day event.
The foreign affairs ministers of India, China and Norway, the finance ministers of Bhutan and Bangladesh, the disaster management minister of Sri Lanka and Japan’s state minister for foreign affairs are among the dignitaries who will attend.
“Many may pledge their support amounts during the conference while others might choose simply to say they are yet to prepare for the support as their respective boards and parliaments need to approve such matters beforehand.
A Post-Disaster Needs Assessment has already assessed a need for Rs 669 billion (approximately US $ 6.69) for the reconstruction.
The post-quake budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year starting mid-July has already been revised upwards to Rs 841 billion, adding Rs 106 billion to previous projections. But the sources for the budget are yet to be finalized.
The shortfall in revenue is projected at 8 percent to about Rs 390 billion. The government expects grants from the supporting agencies and will also accept confessional loans, but not market loans as Nepal has never before gone in for such loans.
“We want either grants or soft loans which are at cheaper interest rates, and loan payback periods of 30 to 40 years,” said Dr. Mahat.
"The problem is not one of budget resouces but of implementation, saying that there is a need of reform in implementation. “We cannot implement the reconstruction project with a business as usual approach, and there is a need for changed attitudes,” said Dr. Mahat.
Foreign minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey and vice chairperson of National Planning Commission Dr.Govinda Raj Pokharel also addressed the media brief.
"This is not a donors' meet but an international conference on Nepal. There is complete coordination among all the government agencies," said Minister of Foreign Affairs Pandey.