Kathmandu: The World Bank has approved $253 million (Rs997 crore) in grants for Nepal’s infrastructure development in an effort to boost the peace process in the Himalayan nation.
It is the largest ever approval by the World Bank as a support package for Nepal. The package is aimed to improve access to basic and primary education, enhance irrigation, expand rural roads, and improve living conditions, livelihoods, and empowerment among the rural poor.
“We all know that peace is needed for development. But in Nepal we also know that development is needed for peace,” said Praful Patel, vice president, World Bank, South Asia.
He said addressing the root causes of the conflict will be key to ensuring lasting peace in Nepal. “Rather than say we will wait and see, we have stressed in our dialogue that reinforcing the peace through development is a more inspiring message for the people of Nepal who are demanding positive change,” Patel was quoted as saying by the World Bank.
The new support package doubles the amount of development resources currently available from the World Bank to Nepal.
Briefing the Executive Directors of the World Bank Group and their Advisors, Patel, said the grant programme intends to support implementation of a development programme that enjoys the backing of the partners in the coalition government in their efforts to sustain the peace and to build a new Nepal.
The grants are from the International Development Association (IDA), the World Bank’s concessionary lending arm, the statement said.