International support for Nepal mobilised following earthquake

27 Apr 15

The Asian Development Bank is preparing a $3m grant of assistance to Nepal after a powerful earthquake struck the country on Saturday, killing more than 4,000 people.

Nepal appealed for immediate international humanitarian assistance as a state of emergency was declared in the state, which is home to 27.8 million people. The ADB assistance package, which will come from the bank’s Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund, will finance immediate relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction needs.

The development bank will work with United Nation agencies and other development partners to assess the damage and the long-term investment needs for reconstruction and rehabilitation.

Based on this assessment, the bank said it would consider reallocating and repurposing existing loans to tackle the urgent needs of the earthquake-hit areas. The bank has around $2bn in ongoing projects in Nepal and has provided $350m in financial assistance in 2014.

ADB President Takehiko Nakao pledged the bank’s full support to the Nepalese people and all affected countries affected by the ‘tragic loss of lives and property’.

‘I assure you of our fullest support in the aftermath of the earthquake, for relief, rehabilitation, and reconstruction,’ said Nakao.

Meanwhile, the UK is to provide £5m in humanitarian support to Nepal.

International Development Secretary Justine Greening said she had activated the Rapid Response Facility.

‘This means we can fast-track funding to aid workers on the ground so they can provide desperately needed supplies including clean water, shelter, household items and blankets. We are also sending humanitarian experts from the UK to provide urgent support on the ground,’ she said.

The World Bank said it would support Nepal’s financing needs and provide other assistance such as loss and damage assessments and help with reconstruction efforts.

Before the earthquake, the bank expected an economic growth of 5% this year and 2016 for Nepal. World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said it was too early to make an estimate of the cost in lives and lost economic activity but acknowledged that the losses appeared to be significant.

‘The [bank] is a long-standing partner for the people of Nepal and we will do everything we can to help them in their hour of need,’ he said.

International Monetary Fund managing director Christine Lagarde extended her ‘deepest sympathises’ to the victims of the disaster. She said the fund was available at short notice to help the government assess the macroeconomic situation and determine any financing needs.

  • Judith Ugwumadu
    Judith Ugwumadu

    Judith writes about public finance, public services and economics across Public Finance International and Public Finance. She previously undertook reporting stints at Financial Adviser, Global Security Finance and The Sunday Express.

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