Australia’s pledge to the recovery of earthquake-rocked Nepal at a Kathmandu donor conference yesterday has been dwarfed by more generous members of the international community, Oxfam said today.
Australia had previously pledged $10 million to the recovery effort, taking their total contribution to $16 million following the $6 million announced yesterday. By comparison Canada has pledged $77 million, the United Kingdom has promised $142 million, while close neighbor India has pledged India $1.3 billion in grants and loans.
“Oxfam welcomes the Australian Government’s contribution of $16 million dollars to the recovery, however Australia’s contribution is paltry when compared with other countries,” Dr Szoke said.
A total of $5.7 billion was pledged at the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction yesterday. With the Nepalese Government estimating the recovery will cost $8.6 billion, there is still a $2.9 billion funding gap.
China pledged $984 million to the recovery, Japan $336 million, USA $168 million and Switzerland $32 million.
“Canada, a country with a similar sized economy to Australia, which made large cuts to its aid budget, pledged almost four times as much as Australia,” Dr Szoke said.
“The Australian Government’s funds will be spent on providing children access to education and counselling, rebuilding schools, reviving businesses and supporting communities to protect the vulnerable from issues such as gender based violence, and these are all vital elements of the recovery. Given the scale of this disaster the Nepalese need all the help they can get.”
“It is important that Australia increase and continue its support to the people of Nepal, and protect its reputation as a generous nation, who helps other countries in our region when they need it most.”
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