Kathmandu: United Kingdom on Thursday announced USD 26 mn funding support for earthquake preparedness in Nepal.
UK Minister of State for International Development Alan Duncan made the announcement on the conclusion of his two-day visit to the country.
According to the British Embassy in Kathmandu, the UK`s new disaster preparedness programme will strengthen Nepal government`s disaster risk management policy and support improved building code compliance.
"It will scale up community-based activities to build the resilience of 4 million people to earthquakes and other disasters.
"It will reconstruct at least 162 schools damaged in the last year`s earthquake (September 2011) with epi-centre being Sikkim, India, and develop a national plan to improve the seismic safety of hospitals", according to the UK Embassy press release.
UK Department for International Development (DFID) support aims at improving preparedness for a national and international emergency response and train 4,000 volunteers across Nepal in search and rescue and first aid.
The 17m (USD 26 million) support is for the period of four years, the release said.
Duncan visited Kathmandu this week and met with the Home Minister. He also visited the National Emergency Operation Centre and met with the representatives from partner organisations who are working to increase disaster preparedness in Nepal.
"I have been extremely focussed on the earthquake risk in Nepal since my first visit to Nepal as a UK Minister.
"An earthquake in Kathmandu has all the components of a cataclysmic tragedy. This is a risk that the UK cannot ignore," Duncan said.