India has substantially fulfilled its commitments under various priority sectors, said the EAM

India has completed the construction of 50,000 owner-driven houses in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts under New Delhi’s grant assistance, said External Affairs Minister, S Jaishankar.

Addressing the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction virtually on Wednesday, Jaishankar said: “We have completed the construction of 50,000 owner-driven houses in Gorkha and Nuwakot districts under Indian assistance in Nepal.”

“This was possible through the joint efforts by all stakeholders including the National Reconstruction Authority of Nepal, local governments, house owners and UNDP and UNOPS that provided socio-technical facilitation for the initiative,” the External Affairs Minister stated.

“The projects in the remaining sectors of health, education and culture are also under progress,” he added.

“Government of India is funding reconstruction of 70 schools and a library, 132 health facilities and 28 cultural heritage sector projects in various earthquake affected areas of Nepal under a US$150 million grant with an estimated cost of US$112 million,” he further said.

“Apart from this 43 reconstruction projects estimated at US$266 million are being undertaken as part of the fourth line of credit of US$750 million to Nepal,” the Minister stated further.

“I salute the resilience of the people of Nepal in rebuilding their lives and communities from the debris of destruction,” he added.

“The formidable and tireless efforts of Nepal in this direction really need our collective appreciation and support with such dedicated efforts Nepal reconstruction is nearing successful completion,” Jaishankar observed.

“After the calamitous, high magnitude earthquake that struck Nepal on April 25 and May 12, 2015, a daunting task of the nation’s relief, recovery and reconstruction lay ahead for Nepal and its people,” he said.

“As a close neighbor India launched a swift, spontaneous and substantive relief operation within six hours of the earthquake to support Nepal’s own national efforts,” Jaishankar noted.

“In those early hours as desperate efforts converged on finding survivors, extending relief, reuniting family members, attending to the injured and salvaging infrastructure, even as aftershocks continued to rock Nepal,” he recalled.

“India put into motion ‘Operation Maitri’ for humanitarian assistance and relief under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. To this date it remains our largest ever disaster relief operation abroad,” the EAM informed.

Noting that in 2015, India had pledged $1 billion as government of India’s support for earthquake reconstruction, he added one fourth of it was committed as grants assistance to be utilized for health, cultural heritage, housing and education sectors.

“Over the last five years India has substantially fulfilled its commitments under the various priority sectors identified by the government of Nepal,” Jaishankar claimed.

“One critical learning has to be the integration of best practices and adoption of new resilience technologies to guard against the scale of tragedy that unfolded in 2015,” he pointed out.

“Further, the speed and quality of close international coordination and cooperation is a crucial differentiator of such a scale during humanitarian disasters,” the EAM mentioned.

“Individual and collective challenges post by the COVID-19 pandemic sharply necessitates the necessity of such coordination and the gaps we continue to need to plug,” he held.

At the G20 Summit Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke of India’s vision of ‘One Earth, One Health’ as a principle not only to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic but also future crisis.

This approach has guided our national cooperation with our partners during the COVID pandemic including Nepal.

Apart from India’s Vaccine Maitri Initiative under India has been assisting Nepal, various kinds of assistance have been extended since last year such as supply of medicines, Remdesivir, ICU equipment and other materials.

In addition a medical oxygen plant was gifted to Nepal by India built with a state-of-art technology and was installed at the BP Koirala Institute of Health Sciences.