Earthquake-stricken Nepal all set to host reconstruction conference

Updated: 2015-06-24 10:11


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Earthquake-stricken Nepal all set to host reconstruction conference

Dust blows as a woman sweeps the premises of Hanumandhoka Durbar Square, a UNESCO world heritage site, as debris from temples that collapsed following the April 25 earthquake is cleared in Kathmandu, Nepal June 8, 2015. [Photo/Agencies]

KATHMANDU - Earthquake-stricken Nepal has made all preparations to host the International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction 'Towards a Resilient Nepal' scheduled for Thursday in Kathmandu, the Nepali government said on Tuesday.

During the international conference, the Nepalese government is seeking international donors to support a reconstruction plan that is expected to cost 6.6 billion U.S. dollars over five years, the government said.

As many as 239 delegates from 53 countries including neighboring China and India, UN agencies and various multilateral agencies have confirmed their participation in the conference, Finance Minister Dr Ram Sharan Mahat told reporters in the Nepalese Capital Kathmandu.

The government had invited representatives from 70 countries and various multilateral agencies to participate in the conference.

"We expect a very good support from our neighbors, donors and multilateral agencies during the conference," Finance Minister Mahat said.

On the occasion, Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey highlighted the reasons behind organizing the conference. " We are hopeful the international community will support us in rebuilding and help bring the dwindling economy back on track," he said.

Prime Minister Sushil Koirala will inaugurate the one-day conference on Thursday morning, as per the government schedule.

According to the Finance Ministry, Nepal receives two-thirds of the cost of its economic development in international aid.

Two major earthquakes on April 25 and May 12 jolted the Himalayan nation. The quakes claimed over 8,787 lives and destroyed more than 500,000 houses, affecting 2.8 million of the total 28 million Nepal's population.

Losses to Nepal's economy from the two earthquakes on record stood at 7 billion dollars, including from tourism, industry, education, agriculture, the National Planning Commission said in a Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) report.

Earthquake-ravaged Nepal is also going to form a reconstruction authority under the leadership of Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, according to government officials.

The authority will be formed by the government for the reconstruction works. Such an authority will have 11 members under the leadership of prime minister.