KATHMANDU, Dec 11: Nepal government and various donor agencies agreed on a joint statement of support on Friday for Nepal’s Relief, Recovery and Resilience Plan to enable a green, resilient and sustainable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The green recovery approach recognises the need for investment to protect lives and secure jobs and livelihoods as an immediate priority, and the need to build resilience, further strengthen inclusion, equity, and enhance sustainability in the longer term, according to a press release issued by the British Embassy in Kathmandu.
“The Government of Nepal welcomes this joint Development Partner approach to support green recovery from the COVID -19 pandemic that is well aligned with Nepal’s 15th development plan,” Radha Wagle, Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Forests and Environment of Nepal has been quoted in the press release as saying.
“It is also very timely as the Rt. Honourable Prime Minister of Nepal will be announcing Nepal’s climate ambition at the Global COP 26 Ambition Summit," he said.
According to the press release, the government and development partners agreed to work together on a joint green recovery package which could total an estimated $7.4 billion, and includes both grant and loan support for the initial response to COVID-19, and already approved, pipeline and forthcoming projects that support green recovery.
Initial estimates of the scale of development partner support in the five areas identified are:
- Up to $840 million for immediate COVID-19 needs including direct health care and vaccine access, and support for livelihoods and vulnerable groups; and
- Up to $4.2 billion from restructuring existing and confirmed projects and up to $2.4 billion for new and pipeline projects for supporting green recovery in the four areas of:
- Nature-based solutions for growth and job creation in agriculture, forestry and biodiversity and water management,and tackling the impacts of climate change in the Himalayas;
- Green and resilient infrastructure, urban development and pollution management, that together create jobs and protect human health;
- Increasing resilience to future shocks such as health, climate and earthquake risks, by strengthening health, social protection, education and disaster management systems; and
- Stimulating private sector recovery, and increasing green investment and job creation in finance, tourism, clean energy, waste management, forestry and agriculture.
“Nepal’s Development Partners wish to align their support for Nepal’s green recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to create jobs,stimulate inclusive growth and get Nepal back on track to achieve middle income status by 2030,” Faris Hadad-Zervos, World Bank Country Director for Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka, has been quoted in the press release as saying.
Roland Schaefer, German Ambassador to Nepal said that Nepal’s development partners are ready to support local, provincial and federal governments to stimulate a green recovery that benefits all.
“As holders of the UN Climate Presidency and hosts for the Climate COP 26 next year, the UK is greatly impressed by Nepal’s climate leadership and ambition in its recently approved NDC,” Lisa Honan, UK Government Asia Climate Envoy has been quoted in the press release as saying. “It is only by working together that we can tackle the COVID-19 and climate crises and build resilience, create sustainable jobs and stimulate the green growth that Nepal needs to bounce back greener.”
Development partners associating themselves with the joint statement Include ADB, EU, Finland, France, Germany, INGOs, JICA, KOICA, Norway SDC, UK, UN, USAID, and the World Bank.