Kathmandu, Jun 25: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) today pledged USD 600 million to help Nepal "build back better" after the devastating April 25 earthquake, which had resulted in huge loss of lives and property.
ADB has approved an immediate assistance of USD 200 million and promised an additional USD 400 million for the rebuilding of Nepal, ADB President Takehiko Nakao told the International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction here.
"Nepal will emerge stronger from this catastrophe and continue along the path of inclusive and sustainable growth."
In addition to the emergency assistance, USD 50 million is being provided, which includes disaster relief grant, budget support for rural finance and grant from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction.
For the subsequent phase, ADB can also allocate up to USD 350 million from its existing projects without affecting the ongoing and planned development programmes.
Speaking at the inaugural session of the conference, Nakao commended the "self-help spirit and solidarity" shown by people of Nepal.
The ADB President also complimented the government for its "strong leadership" in conducting post-disaster needs assessment with development partners, and planning reconstruction efforts.
Highlighting effective reconstruction, he said Nepal should "build back better focusing on earthquake-resistant standards".
The ADB chief also underlined the importance of strong leadership, improved fiduciary risk management system and effective donor coordination for successful reconstruction of Nepal.
The powerful earthquake killed nearly 9,000 people, injured 23,000 people and damaged more than 5,00,000 buildings, leaving hundreds of thousands of people jobless.