Earthquake-ravaged Nepal’s cost of reconstruction is estimated to be approximately USD 6.66 billion, according to an assessment survey carried out by the country’s Planning Commission.
Reconstruction of damaged physical infrastructure has become the most difficult task for the Nepal government after two major earthquakes jolted the Himalayan Nation on April 25 and May 12, the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment report said.
“Nepal needs approximately USD 6.66 billion for brining the country back on track,” Prime Minister Sushil Koirala’s office said in a press release after a meeting of the Planning Commission here chaired by him.
Bringing the dwindling economy back on track would be a very challenging task as the economy was badly affected by the 7.8 magnitude earthquake that claimed over 9,000 lives and left a trail of destruction.
Various sectors including industry, agriculture, tourism, health and education suffered badly due to the disaster.
According to the Home Ministry, the quake destroyed 5,10,762 private homes and damaged 2,91,707 homes partially.
Economic losses in the tourism sector are the highest and cannot be recovered through investment equivalent to loss.
“For example, there has been a total loss of Rs 81.24 billion in the tourism sector. We cannot bring back the tourists who left the country so the needs in the sector cannot be the same as the losses,” said Govinda Raj Pokharel, vice-chairman of the NPC which led the PDNA process.
Setting up a National Reconstruction fund of USD 2 billion, the Nepali government last month urged the international community to contribute to the fund.
The government had provided USD 200 million as the seed money for the fund.
In order to seek support from international community for its rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts the Nepali government is all set to host a donors’ conference in Kathmandu on June 25.
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