The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has approved an estimate 200 million dollars for Nepal to ‘Build Back Better” after the devastating April 25 earthquake, ADB president Takehiko Nakao told the International conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction. He said ADB is ready to provide up to $400 million further assistance, which would bring the total assistance to 600 million dollars.
"ADB’s board approved 200 million dollars in earthquake assistance to build and restore schools, roads and public buildings,” said Nakao at a press meeting. “ I truly believe that Nepal will emerge stronger from this catastrophe and continue along the path of inclusive and sustainable growth.”
The ADB president floated five principles for effective rebuilding. Explaining his principle of 'building back better', ADB President Nakao said that buildings should be rebuilt to earthquake-resistant standards. He also vowed to pay special attention to the needs of the poor, rural residents, and other vulnerable social groups, who have suffered more from the earthquake, to ensure inclusiveness in the rebuilding process.
Toward robust institutional set up for the reconstruction, Nakao said that there was a need of strong leadership to manage resources and success of such institution. He also hailed the government's effort to form such institution.
"The government has already started the process of establishing a special purpose agency for reconstruction and showing strong leadership. This will facilitate swift decision-making in the budget process, implementation, and coordination," he added.
Amid concerns about the corruption and possible mismanagement, the chief of Manila-based regional development bank said that the proper procurement policies, civil society group and media vigilance, regular disclosures and supervision of corruption watchdog could help in fiduciary risk management.
According to a press release issued by Asian Development Bank, in addition to the 200 million dollars emergency assistance, a further 50 million dollars is being provided. This includes a 3 million disaster relief grant, 30 million dollars in budget support for rural finance, and a 15 million dollars grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction. For the subsequent phase of reconstruction, ADB can also allocate up to 350 million dollars from its existing projects without affecting the ongoing and planned development programs.
Speaking in the press conference, Nakao praised the self help spirit and solidarity shown by Nepali people. He also praised the government for strong leadership in conducting post disaster needs assessments with development partners and planning reconstruction efforts.
“The first is building back better. Buildings should be rebuilt to earthquake-resistant standards. Our assistance will include more resilient school buildings and education for disaster preparedness to provide a better and more secure future for children,” ADB president Nakao said. “The second principle is inclusiveness. In our reconstruction efforts, we will pay special attention to the needs of the poor, rural residents, and other vulnerable social groups, who have suffered more from the earthquake. The third principle is the importance of robust institutional setup for reconstruction. The fourth principle is about capacity and governance. The fifth principle is donor coordination and government ownership.
“Nepal has enormous potential to develop and prosper through the agriculture development,” said ADB president.
The press conference was also attended by ADB’s country director Kenichi Yokoyama.