UNDP reaffirms partnership with Japan to support Nepal’s efforts to build back better after devastating earthquakeMay 26, 2015
Kathmandu – 26 May 2015 - The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) yesterday reaffirmed a strong partnership with Japan on the occasion of the “Build Back Better” Reconstruction Seminar organized by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Government of Nepal in Katmandu.
The seminar, which took place one month after the powerful earthquake that struck Nepal, was intended to exchange information and expertise, including practical experiences of Japanese rehabilitation and reconstruction processes to support building back better in Nepal.
The event opened with a prayer for victims of the Earthquake, was attended by representatives of the Government of Nepal, JICA, UNDP and development partners.
In the opening session, JICA President Akihiko Tanaka emphasized that the concept of “build back better” meant preventative disaster risk reduction measures as a means of making communities more resilient.
The Minister of Finance of Nepal, Dr. Ram Saran Mahat, emphasized the importance of reconstruction of infrastructure, including schools, hospitals and cultural sites. The Vice-Chairperson of the National Planning Commission Dr. Govind Raj Pokharela highlighted the need for rebuilding houses in rural areas and spoke of the importance of the needs assessment work being done by the Government of Nepal and the international community.
Nicholas Rosellini, UNDP’s Regional Deputy Director of Regional Bureau of Asia and the Pacific, reaffirmed UNDP’s partnership with JICA and the Government of Nepal. He highlighted UNDP’s on-going support for early recovery that bridges the gap between humanitarian response and development. He also spoke of the strong partnership for the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) between the Government and development partners. The Government-led PDNA process is being assisted by UNDP, the World Bank and European Union (EU), together with other partners such as JICA and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
The opening session was also attended by H. E. Japanese Ambassador to Nepal Masashi Ogawa and Lohani Bindu, Vice President of the Asian Development Bank.
More than 20 seismology, disaster risk reduction, urban planning, housing and infrastructure experts from Japan and Nepal took part in the discussion to build back better.
Prior to the event, on 14 and 15 May, UNDP held a 2-day consultation meeting with Japan in Tokyo, where an agreement was reached to strengthen the partnership to support Nepal’s recovery and reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake. On 15 May, Japan and UNDP signed an agreement for a US$1 million emergency grant to manage debris and create emergency employment through a cash-for-work programme in affected areas of Nepal.
Naoki Nihei, UNDP-JICA/Japan Collaboration Adviser, Bureau of External Relations and Advocacy, UNDP