Hartwig Schafer, Vice President of the World Bank for South Asia, recently finished a five-day visit to Nepal, during which he reaffirmed the World Bank’s commitment to assisting Nepal’s resilient recovery from the earthquake.
Schafer praised the government’s excellent Covid-19 response, which included the rapid delivery of vaccines and a strong focus on economic recovery, in separate talks with Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and Finance Minister Janardan Sharma.
The sessions also emphasised the significance of expediting reform implementation and investment, as well as increased collaboration, in order to achieve Nepal’s long-term development goals.
According to Hartwig Schafer, “Nepal has proven to be a model of resilience, rising stronger from shocks such as the 2015 earthquake and working with a clear goal to rebuild better from the ravages of Covid-19.” As Nepal’s development partner, the World Bank is happy to be working side by side with the Nepali government, development partners, the business sector, civil society, and other important stakeholders to achieve a recovery that is environmentally friendly while also being resilient and inclusive.
When the Kathmandu Declaration was endorsed at a high-level roundtable on Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID) held on September 23, the World Bank was there to lend its support together with the government of Nepal and development partners.
The proclamation reaffirmed Nepal’s commitment to the GRID vision, as well as the support of aligned partners in the areas of prospective priority investments, market incentives and policies, institutional measures, and information required to assist Nepal in making the transition to the GRID.
The green, resilient, and inclusive development framework, often known as the GRID, is a new development paradigm that I admire Nepal for adopting. Schafer explained that “the GRID method is intended to provide benefits to people, the environment, and Nepal’s economy in the short, medium, and long term.” “The World Bank is glad to endorse the Kathmandu Declaration, which will help to strengthen Nepal’s sustainable development,” the bank says.
The Minister of Energy Pampha Bhusal, the State Minister of Health Umesh Shrestha, as well as government secretaries, development partners, and representatives from the business sector, were all invited to participate in the meetings as well.
Schafer travelled outside of Kathmandu to the proposed Upper Arun Hydroelectric Project site and to Dhulikhel, where he participated in a federalism conference with representatives from the federal and municipal levels of government.
The World Bank is funding feasibility studies and detailed design for the projected Upper Arun project, which is currently in the planning stages.
At the conclusion of his visit, Schafer participated in a special event organised in collaboration with the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile and Nepal Automobile Sports Association to raise awareness about road safety and advocate for affordable and certified UN-standard helmets for motorised two-wheeler riders.
The event was organised in conjunction with the Ministry of Physical Infrastructure and Transport as part of a larger effort to promote road safety.