– Annette Dixon, the World Bank Vice President for South Asia, concluded a day-long visit to Kathmandu today. The visit was Dixon’s first return to Nepal since June last year when she led the World Bank Group delegation to the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction following the earthquakes of April and May 2015. At the conference, the World Bank Group pledged about $600 million in emergency assistance for post-earthquake reconstruction.
Dixon held meetings today with Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli, Finance Minister Bishnu Poudel, Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission Yubaraj Khatiwada and Finance Secretary Lok Darshan Regmi. She also met with the Chief Executive Officer of the National Reconstruction Authority, Sushil Gyawali, as well as representatives of Nepal’s leading development partners based in Kathmandu.
Dixon welcomed the recent formalization of the National Reconstruction Authority and expressed the hope that the Government of Nepal will build on the momentum. “The National Reconstruction Authority needs all the support it can get to implement its plans in earnest and to start achieving its ambitious targets,” she said. “In my discussions we explored ways in which the government could expedite the reconstruction effort and utilize aid resources, improve coordination and ensure transparency and accountability,” she said.
Ms. Dixon also discussed the economic and social impacts of the disruption in Nepal’s trade. “The consequences are obviously serious. One cannot put a rupee figure to all the hardships the situation has caused, particularly to the poor and vulnerable, especially at a time when Nepal is trying to recover from the earthquakes,” she said.