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Government, ADB sign $3 million grant for earthquake relief

The government and Asian Development Bank (ADB) today signed a $3 million grant agreement to finance relief efforts in the country following Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake.
Finance secretary Suman Sharma and ADB country director Kenichi Yokoyama signed the agreement on behalf of their respective institutions.
“The funds must be urgently used to address the most immediate needs including the delivery of rescue and relief goods and materials to the shattered remote rural communities in the worstaffected districts, and for improving sanitation in the relief camps in urban areas where many Nepalis are spending night after night,” said Yokoyama after signing the agreement. “Sanitation conditions in these camps are extremely alarming, posing high risk of outbreaks of infectious diseases,” he added.
ADB announced the grant from its Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund on Monday. The fund can be used to meet immediate humanitarian needs following disasters like for tents, medical assistance, food, and drinking water. It will be followed by up to $200 million in additional resources for projects in the first phase of rehabilitation in the country.
Thousands have died following the earthquake and hundreds of thousands are unable to return home because buildings have collapsed or transport systems or roads are unusable. Over two thirds of the country’s 75 districts are thought to have been affected by the earthquake.
ADB has also set up a Nepal Earthquake Response Team that will, along with UN agencies and other development partners, assess the damage and recovery needs for reconstruction and rehabilitation. Based on this assessment, and in addition to the up to $200 million of new resources, ADB will consider reallocating existing resources.
ADB – based in Manila – is dedicated to reducing poverty in Asia and the Pacific through inclusive economic growth, environmentally sustainable growth, and regional integration. Established in 1966, it is owned by 67 members – 48 from the region.