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India announces $1 billion for rebuilding Nepal

Kathmandu: India on Thursday announced an aid of USD 1 billion for rebuilding Nepal, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj announced at an international donors meet here.

The aid will be used in the reconstruction of physical infrastructure as well as some key heritage sites.

At the International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction, Swaraj said: "Nepal is not alone. Today I convey to you the deep and abiding commitment of the government of India and 1.25 billion people of India to stand shoulder to shoulder with you."

Referring to the operation India undertook to help Nepal soon after it was hit by a massive 7.9-magnitude earthquake in April, Swaraj said: "Operation Maitri was our largest ever disaster assistance effort abroad valued at nearly Rs 400 billion."

"From the debris of destruction a stronger united and more confident Nepal will rise," she said.

Swaraj hailed Nepal's efforts in making a major bid to rebuild the nation and said raising $6.7 billion was a challenging task.

"As the oldest and closest friend, India is ready to stand with Nepal," she said.

Other countries too pitch in

China and Japan also announced over USD 1 billion of aid to Nepal to reconstruct infrastructure after it was devastated by a series of quakes.

At an international donor's conference here, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi pledged to extend over $750 million to the Himalayan nation. It also offered training opportunities for 1,500 Nepalis over the next year.

Japan also offered to support the repairing of cultural heritages in the country.

Similarly, Norway announced $30 million to Nepal.

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