India earmarks $75m to rebuild earthquake-hit Nepal

India has announced a financial assistance package of Nepali ₹1,000 crore (approximately $75 million) to aid in the reconstruction of infrastructure damaged by an earthquake that struck western Nepal in November of the previous year. External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar disclosed details of the aid package during the joint inauguration of the new central library of Tribhuvan University, constructed with Indian assistance, alongside his Nepalese counterpart NP Saud.

Jaishankar conveyed the news of the financial assistance package to Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal during a meeting. He expressed India’s commitment to supporting the people of Nepal and contributing to the government’s reconstruction efforts in quake-hit areas.

The foreign ministers also jointly inaugurated various reconstruction projects in Nepal, addressing the aftermath of earthquakes in 2015 and 2023. These projects included the construction of 25 schools, 32 health facilities, and a cultural heritage project. India had previously contributed $1 billion to Nepal’s post-earthquake reconstruction efforts, encompassing a grant of $250 million and a line of credit of $750 million.

Jaishankar highlighted the completion of an India-backed project to build 50,000 houses in November 2021 and the fulfilment of all 71 reconstruction projects in the education sector with grant assistance. He expressed India’s sorrow over the casualties and devastation caused by the November 2023 earthquake in western Nepal and mentioned the prompt provision of emergency relief within 48 hours.

The minister emphasised the significance of physical, digital, and energy connectivity in the collaboration between the two countries. Indian support for Nepal’s education sector, including scholarships and capacity-building programs, aims to empower the youth. Jaishankar reiterated India’s commitment to strengthening relations with neighbouring countries, particularly Nepal, and emphasised the principles of “sabka saath, sabka vikaas, sabka vishwas, sabka prayas” (Together with all, development for all, trust of all, effort of all).

Nepalese Foreign Minister Saud praised India’s substantial financial support for Nepal’s reconstruction efforts after the earthquakes of 2015 and 2023, particularly in rebuilding houses and educational and health facilities. He highlighted the deepening of cultural, historical, and humanitarian connections between the two countries through overall development cooperation. The assistance has reportedly had a transformative impact on various sectors, including highways, railways, hydropower, health sciences, and energy connectivity in the form of a petroleum pipeline.

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