Kathmandu(PTI): Nepal has suffered a loss of up to USD 10 billion in the devastating earthquake and the subsequent aftershocks that rattled the Himalayan nation, the government said today, as it appealed to donors for long-term support for bringing the country back on track.
Chairing a meeting of donor agencies, Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat said that the preliminary estimated cost for the reconstruction of the quake-ravaged country is USD 5 billion and works have been started by setting up a fund of US $2 billion for the time being.
"The country has suffered a loss between US $5 to 10 billion due to the damaged caused by the April 25 earthquake and the aftershocks," the Finance Minister said.
He said that bringing the flagging economy back on track is very challenging since the economy was adversely affected by the April 25 earthquake that killed over 8,400 people across Nepal.
He said short term support was needed immediately to fulfill the basic needs while the long term support would be required for the reconstruction.
He said the government is working on a long term plan for the same.
Over one million private and public houses and buildings have been damaged totally or partially by the earthquake that rattled the Himalayan nation.
Several other sectors like services industry, agriculture, tourism, health and education have also been badly hit by the quake.
Expressing the determination to reach the assistance provided by the donor agencies to the quake affected people in a transparent manner, the Finance Minister said, "Transparency would be maintained for every rupee received in the name of relief to the earthquake victims and the amount would be audited."
Chairing the meeting under a tent after the ministry's building sustained several cracks, the Finance Minister appealed to the international community to follow the one-window policy of the government and put money and resources through the government channel.
Nepal government's main administration works are being carried out under tents after many buildings located in the Singhdurbar secretariat complex developed cracks due to the earthquake.
The Minister said the quake would continue to take the toll on the country's economy in the next fiscal year too.
He assured that the government would carry out reconstruction of the damaged physical infrastructures in the country as per the world renowned Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA).