KATHMANDU, June 30: Small Farmers Development Bank (SFDB) has started disbursement of first livelihood restoration credit.
“The credit is supported under the 'Disaster Risk Reduction and Livelihood Restoration Project', which was approved by ADB in October, 2015,” ADB Country Director Kenichi Yokoyama said at a program organized jointly by the Ministry of Finance and Small Farmers Development Bank in Kathmandu on Wednesday.
With $15 million grant funding by the Government of Japan, the project aims to accelerate reconstruction and livelihood restoration in earthquake-affected areas, with a focus on small and marginal farmers and landless households heavily affected by the disaster, he said, adding that the funding has three key activities -- rehabilitation and construction of earthquake-resilient model schools, providing concessional livelihood restoration microcredit, and capacity building.
SFDB on Wednesday started disbursement of concessional micro-credit wroth Rs 600 million to at least 12,500 households in the affected districts, who are poor and vulnerable.
The loan of up to Rs 50,000 is being extended to restore livelihoods of quake-hit people like recovering farmland, livestock, microenterprises and housing.
Small Farmers Development Bank in coordination with Small Farmers Cooperatives will channel the microcredit.
At the program, the first 10 checks were handed over to SFDB's representatives which will be channeled to the affected families.
"ADB thinks this is a major step forward as our response for delivering the concrete rehabilitation support directly to the household level," Yokoyama said, appreciating the Ministry of Finance, Small Farmers Development Bank, Small Farmers Cooperatives and other agencies. "We also hope to see acceleration of the planning and implementation of the model school component of the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) grant project."
On the occasion, ADB officials said that they have accorded high priority to respond to the earthquakes while building resilience with a 'build back better' principle.
ADB assistance so far has been provided through three projects - a $3 million grant from ADB's Asia Pacific Disaster Response Fund for immediate relief; $200 million Earthquake Emergency Assistance Project, covering reconstruction of schools, roads, and urban government service buildings; and program under the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) grant project.