Nepal RecoveryOn July 29, Senator Cardin (D-MD), a Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Kirk (R-IL) introduced the Nepal Recovery Act in the Senate. This act would provide humanitarian assistance to the Nepalese people, given that there were two earthquakes that killed 8,700 people in April and May.

The Nepal Recovery Act approves funding for over three years to help Nepal rebuild infrastructure, like schools and hospitals. Over 47,000 classrooms and 1,000 health facilities were destroyed around Kathmandu after the earthquake. This act would help Nepal rebuild and gain back infrastructure, schools, and health clinics that were destroyed.

Additionally, the legislation aims to help the Nepalese economy. Nepal has a GDP of about 19 billion and a population of 27.8 million, making Nepal one of the poorer countries in the world. Additionally, the earthquake has caused one million people to fall below the poverty line. The Nepal Recovery Act takes measures to stimulate the economy, so the Nepalese people can move on from this tragedy.

The legislation includes debt relief and promotes donor transparency in the reconstruction effort. The bill allows the Administration to tap the private sector to support Nepal.

The bill would also designate resources to prevent the trafficking of children following the earthquake. Nepal already has a human trafficking problem, but the earthquake has exacerbated the problem. The bill aims to protect children and stop traffickers from taking advantage of the crisis situation.

Currently, this bill has been referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It is clear that Nepal needs substantial humanitarian aid following the earthquakes earlier this year. This bill considers improving infrastructure, improving the economy, and preventing trafficking in Nepal. Since this bill would provide aid for over three years, Nepal could have sufficient time to rebuild. After the Nepalese people recover from this earthquake, the country can more easily and rapidly combat poverty.

Ella Cady

Sources: Senate 1, Senate 2, Huffington Post, India Times
Photo: Flickr