ASTANA – Kazakhstan will provide $200,000 in official humanitarian assistance to Nepal, as decided May 25 by the commission on international humanitarian aid chaired by First Deputy Prime Minister Bakytzhan Sagintayev. The funds will be allocated from the government emergency reserve, reported the prime minister’s press service.
Nepal was damaged April 25-28 by a 7.8-magnitude earthquake which destroyed buildings in Kathmandu and severely affected rural areas across the region. The death toll has risen to 4,310, with almost 8,000 injured, as stated in an April 28 BBC report.
“According to initial estimations and based on the latest earthquake intensity mapping, eight million people in 39 districts have been affected, of which over two million people live in the 11 severely-affected districts,” said the network, based on a report from the United Nations Office of the Resident Co-ordinator.
Kazakhstan has no diplomatic presence in Nepal. Yet during the earthquake, the country in cooperation with the Russian Emergencies Ministry assisted with the evacuation of Kazakh citizens from Kathmandu to New Delhi.
The nation’s embassy in India provided all necessary aid and assistance to the evacuees and helped arrange their flights to Almaty.
The commission also recommended the government provide humanitarian aid to Afghanistan. Thus, necessary items like vegetable oil, warm clothes, beds, tents, bedding and dishes will be offered to the Afghan people.
Kazakhstan is currently taking steps to systemize official development assistance (ODA) to foreign countries. For this reason, a KazAID agency that will focus on financial assistance and knowledge transfer is being established by the government. One of its top priorities is aimed at implementing projects in Afghanistan and the less-developed states of Central Asia.
“With the economic development and growth of the international authority of Kazakhstan, our country’s responsibility for ensuring regional and international stability and security is growing. The transition of Kazakhstan from being a recipient to being a development partner and soon to being an organised donor has historical significance for our country and is seen as a symbol of a new stage in the development of Kazakhstan,” said Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov who was a keynote speaker at the Astana Economic Forum session devoted to the nation’s ODA, in a statement released by the ministry’s press service.
“Kazakhstan is fully aware of its role as a responsible state in Central Asia and a partner of the international community contributing to the stability and sustainable social and economic development of the region. It is precisely in cooperation with interested countries of Central Asia that our official development assistance will be implemented,” he added.