Helping Nepal build a strong future
08 August, 2012
Parliamentary Secretary Richard Marles with (from left) Kenichi Yokoyama (Country Director, Asian Development Bank), Robert Piper (UN Resident Co-ordinator), Ben Reese (AusAID) and Surya Narayan Shrestha (Deputy Executive Director, National Society for Earthquake Technology) during a visit to Patan Durbar Square, Kathmandu, a UNESCO World Heritage site. AusAID is working with the ADB and Nepal’s Department of Education to make schools in vulnerable areas earthquake resistant. Photo: Sunita Gurung / AusAID Nepal
Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Richard Marles visited Kathmandu on 6–7 August to meet with government representatives and visit activities funded under AusAID’s $35 million aid program to Nepal.
Australia’s development partnership with Nepal builds on more than 50 years of diplomatic relations and people-to-people links.
'Nepal has many friends and a growing community of Nepalese in Australia who want to see it achieve lasting peace and prosperity,' Mr Marles said.
During his visit, Mr Marles met with Nepal’s Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and Foreign Minister Narayan Kaji Shreshta and the Ministers of Finance, Health and Education.
Australia is supporting Nepal during its transition to a federal democracy.
'Australia looks forward to Nepal finalising a constitution and tackling the complex issues of federal re-structuring,' Mr Marles said.
Australia is also providing more than 80 Australia Award scholarships to Nepal over the next four years, and is designing a training program for Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials.
Mr Marles joined representatives from the Australian embassy and officials from the Government of Nepal, the UN and Asian Development Bank, on a walk through an historic area of Kathmandu to highlight earthquake vulnerability. They also visited Tripadma Higher Secondary School which was retrofitted to improve earthquake resistance. This work is part of AusAID’s partnership with the Asian Development Bank and Nepal’s Department of Education to make 260 school buildings earthquake resistant.
Mr Marles also visited the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology, a world-class eye health facility in Kathmandu which is working to alleviate avoidable blindness. The Institute is supported by AusAID and the Australian NGO, the Fred Hollows Foundation [external website].
In 2012–13 AusAID will invest in education, health, rural livelihoods and governance reform to improve the quality of life of people in Nepal.
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Media Release - Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs Richard Marles - Australian support helping Nepal build a strong future [external website]
AusAID at work in Nepal
Last Reviewed: 8 August, 2012