Rebuilding Nepal must not leave it more indebted

Ahead of a donor conference in Kathmandu on Thursday 25 June, Sarah-Jayne Clifton, Director of the Jubilee Debt Campaign said:

“Nepal urgently needs funds for reconstruction. One of the fastest ways to free up money in Nepal would be to cancel its debt, which is primarily owed to the Asian Development Bank and World Bank, and is costing $210 million in payments in 2015 alone. All assistance to Nepal should be given as grants rather than loans, so that the tragic earthquakes don’t become a weight on the country for years to come through creating an unjust debt burden.”

Jubilee Debt Campaign has joined a call by more than 100 organisations across the world calling for Nepal to receive immediate and unconditional debt cancellation in the wake of two devastating earthquakes.

Earthquake damage in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Photo: Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi / UNDP Nepal.
Earthquake damage in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Photo: Laxmi Prasad Ngakhusi / UNDP Nepal.

Nepal’s Finance Minister has said that Nepal should not become heavily indebted to foreign agencies during reconstruction, and the Nepalese government has called for debt cancellation to be agreed at the donor conference on 25 June.

However, the World Bank has already said that it is planning to offer up to $500 million as loans rather than grants. Nepal is due to pay $63 million to the World Bank over the next year, $12 million of which is interest.

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