Nepal has just reopened its temple-filled Durbar Square, the famous World Heritage Site, on June 16th, 50 days after the first devastating earthquake struck the country.
The hope is to encourage tourists once again, now that much of the rubble in Nepal’s cultural sites has been cleared.
It has not been easy. The quakes and aftershocks were so strong that Mt. Everest actually shifted to the southwest. The quakes literally moved mountains, and the biggest ones on our planet!
The most recent assessment reveals that recovery will cost a third of Nepal’s economy, according to the World Bank. Because at least an additional three percent of the population has fallen into poverty since the first quake on April 25 struck, Nepal needs sustained support in order to repair the vast damages to infrastructure, while preventing even more Nepalese from falling into poverty.
The most heavily impacted sector by far is housing, which accounts for three-fifths of the damages and half of the needs. The Government of Nepal and its development partners are now transitioning from relief to reconstruction, which will be costly and time-consuming, even if done well.
There first needs to be clear plans on how raised money will be spent. The World Bank will work with the Government of Nepal to develop a credible recovery program that will be transparent and accountable “for the benefit of those who lost the most from the earthquake disaster.” The World Bank will also help with financing housing reconstruction in poor rural areas.
But for many Nepalese, the disaster is far from over. Humanitarian relief remains crucial and must continue along with the reconstruction.
Author: Linda Lewis
Editor: Travis May