KATHMANDU, April 22 (Xinhua) -- Nepal faces resources gap of around five billion U.S. dollars to complete the post-earthquake reconstruction works, National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) of the Himalayan nation said on Monday.
As Nepal is marking the fourth anniversary of the devastating earthquake that claimed 8,790 lives while injuring 22,300 and causing financial loss of over seven billion U.S. dollars. The authority, formed to fast-track the reconstruction works, said that massive resources gap could be hindrance to complete the works.
The quake on April 25, 2015 and its aftershock on May 12 had destroyed about a million private houses along with hundreds of health institutions, government buildings, cultural heritage sites, schools, roads and other infrastructures.
Organizing a press conference participated only by journalists from foreign media, the NRA's Chief Executive Officer Sushil Gyawali said that they were facing the resources gap of 4.76 billion U.S. dollar which needs to be fulfilled either by the Nepali government or international donor agencies.
"As tenure of the authority, which was formed in December 2015, is expiring on December 20, the amount should be generated before the expiry of the authority," Gyawali said.
According to him, some international donors have showed interest to provide additional resources on the top of already committed amount. "For example, we are holding discussion with the World Bank seeking additional aid of 500 million U.S. dollars," he told the journalists.
According to NRA, the Himalayan country requires a total of 9.38 billion U.S. dollars to conclude all the reconstruction works. It expects to fulfill need of two billion U.S. dollars through the regular budgetary allocation from Nepal's central, provincial and local governments as well as from the non-government sectors.
For the remaining amount of 7.38 billion U.S. dollars, bilateral and multilateral donor agencies have already signed an agreement for 2.62 billion U.S. dollars. "We need to manage resources gap between 7.38 billion and 2.62 billion U.S. dollars," Gyawali said.
Although foreign donors had committed aid of 3.43 billion U.S. dollars for Nepal during an international conference on Nepal's Reconstruction held in June 2015, Nepali government has been unable to sign an agreement with all the concerned donors to receive the entire committed amount so far. "Our effort is continuing," said Gyawali.
NRA officials said that they are confident that the reconstruction of almost all damaged infrastructure would be completed in the next 20 months provided required resources are managed.