EU funded NEARR Facility concludes the provision of technical assistance and advisory services to Nepal

By Laxman Datt Pant

EU funded NEARR Facility concludes the provision of technical assistance and advisory services to Nepal

Reflecting on the overall recovery, the context, and the aspects of governance behind the reconstruction scenes, on April 9 the European Union (EU) funded Nepal EU Action for Recovery and Reconstruction (NEARR) Facility hosted its official closure in Kathmandu.

The four-year (2017-2021) NEARR Facility has provided a wide range of advisory services and products over the years offered through its core team as well as several international and national experts and with the use of a flexible incidental budget, the Delegation of the European Union to Nepal stated.

The EU has been supporting the Government of Nepal (GoN) with reconstruction and recovery measures since the earthquake in 2015. This includes budget support of €90 million and the contracting of the German Consulting Group (GFA) to establish a Reconstruction Facility under the NEARR.

This Facility is reported to have provided demand-driven, flexible technical assistance, advisory services, and products and capacity development for the National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) of Nepal. Established with the main objective of the rapid reconstruction of the physical damage resulting from the massive earthquakes of April 25 and May 12, 2015, the NRA is also responsible for the oversight and coordination of earthquake recovery and reconstruction-related works.

  • The NEARR support facility is complementary to the €100 million budget support (State Building Contract) of the Nepal-EU Action for Recovery and Reconstruction
  • The Facility provided the GoN with demand-driven technical expertise for the reconstruction process
  • It supported a transparent and equitable reconstruction process that enhanced earthquake resilience in Nepal
  • It also supported the communication and visibility of the EU support to reconstruction in Nepal
  • The key activities implemented under the Facility included policy dialogue, financial transfer, performance assessment, the preparation of disbursement dossiers, and complementary measures to strengthen the government’s capacity
  • It also offered the provision of additional fiscal space for the GoN to accelerate development spending for inclusive recovery and reconstruction
  • The Facility supported disaster preparedness and resilience initiatives for building back better principles

In the closing event, some of the key undertakings of the Facility were highlighted including how its mandate as a demand-driven, adaptable, and close-proximity technical assistance development partner has proven to be exceptionally effective in the complex operational context of Nepal. It also reflected on how its work with the main government agencies such as the NRA and the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority (NDRRMA) was carried out.

Congratulating the NRA, NDRRMA, and other stakeholders involved for the progress made so far in advancing the reconstruction process in Nepal, Nona Deprez, EU Ambassador to Nepal said, “It is important that the current momentum be maintained and indeed increased in the time ahead so as to build back greener and better for the benefit of the Nepali people including the most vulnerable communities.”

The closing event was attended by representatives of the EU Delegation to Nepal, development partners, NRA, NDRRMA, the Prime Minister’s Office, the Ministry of Finance, and the Department of Archaeology.