Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, gave the following statement regarding S. 1882 the Nepal Recovery Act, which will work to support the sustainable recovery and rebuilding of Nepal following the recent, devastating earthquakes near Kathmandu. Senator Cardin introduced the bill with Senator Kirk as an original cosponsor on July 29, 2015. The legislation passed unanimously out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on January 28, 2016.
“I welcome today's vote on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to approve the Nepal Recovery Act. This is an important bill that I was proud to introduce with Senator Kirk in the wake of the two devastating earthquakes last year in Nepal, which killed more than 9,000 people, injured more than 26,000, and caused more than $5 billion in damage. The damage to infrastructure outpaced that of the Haiti earthquake, and nearly 800,000 people lost their homes. Many villages in western Nepal were completely destroyed. The Nepal Recovery Act authorizes funds for programs that ensure that Nepal rebuilds in ways that foster resilience to future earthquakes, landslides, and other natural disasters. The bill includes important policy language to ensure accountability, and to stress the importance of addressing the vulnerability of girls and boys to trafficking, and other forms of abuse, during such tragedies. This bill sends an important signal that the US remains committed to helping Nepal rebuild following the earthquakes and I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance the bill in the full Senate.”