Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Nepal new gov't receives aid from World Bank

KATHMANDU, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- The International Development Association, a soft lending window of the World Bank, has agreed to provide 127 million U.S. dollars grant assistance to Nepal, Nepali national news agency RSS reported on Tuesday.

The assistance is for implementing Emergency Peace Support Program, Health Sector Program and Rural Drinking Water and Sanitation Program.

This is the biggest foreign aid commitment Nepal received after the formation of a new government led by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M). Agreements to this effect were signed between the Nepali government and the World Bank at the Finance Ministry in Nepali capital Kathmandu on Tuesday.

CPN-M Chairman Prachanda was elected the first prime minister of the new-born Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal on Aug. 15, while a republic cabinet was formed on Aug. 22.

According to the Finance Ministry, the grant received under the Emergency Peace Support Program would be utilized to provide relief to conflict-hit people, families of people killed during the conflict, pay allowance of CPN-M soldiers as per the comprehensive peace accord and to build the capacity of the government in peace building and rehabilitation.

Likewise the grant under the Health Sector Program would be utilized to strengthen service delivery and institutional capacity and management development in the Ministry of Health and Population and expand the basic health services to the rural areas.

The agreements were signed by Finance Secretary Rameshore Prasad Khanal on behalf of the government and country director of World Bank in Nepal Susan Goldmark on behalf of the bank. Finance minister Dr. Baburam Bhattarai, bank's vice-president of South Asia region Isabel Guerrero were present on the occasion

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