World Bank announces $500 million for quake-hit Nepal

AFP , Tuesday 23 Jun 2015

An aerial view of houses damaged by Saturday's earthquake is seen near Chautara, Nepal, April 30, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)

The World Bank announced Tuesday it will provide up to $500 million for reconstruction in quake-devastated Nepal which is preparing to host a major conference to increase donations.

The twin quakes that struck in April and May killed more than 8,800 people, destroyed nearly half a million houses and damaged another 280,000, leaving thousands in need of food, clean water and shelter.

"We are working with the Government of Nepal and its international partners to help the country get the resources it needs to build back better," World Bank President Jim Yong Kim said in a statement.

"We will do everything possible to help people who suffered from the earthquake, especially the poor, rebuild their homes and livelihoods."

The impoverished Himalayan nation will need around $6.7 billion, roughly a third of the value of its economy, to recover from the disaster, according to a preliminary assessment by the government.

The World Bank's assistance will include $200 million towards rural housing and $100 million to strengthen the banking system following a post-quake economic slowdown.

An additional $100 to $200 million will be redirected from existing World Bank projects towards unspecified reconstruction efforts.

Nepal has sent out 65 invitations, including to 36 countries, for Thursday's one-day conference in Kathmandu which will brief donors and appeal for funds to support its reconstruction plans.

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