Manila, Philippines (BBN)- The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will continue to strongly support the country as it undertakes efforts to overcome economic challenges amidst political transition, ADB President Haruhiko Kuroda said on Wednesday. 
Speaking at the conclusion of a four-day visit to Nepal, President Kuroda said the country has made significant gains in poverty reduction and several key human development indicators over the past decade, despite a lengthy civil conflict that only ended in 2006, compounded by Nepal’s challenging topography and landlocked geography.
And while there are significant challenges arising from its current political transition, coupled with the effects of the global economic crisis and gaps in infrastructure development and institution building, President Kuroda said he is confident Nepal can overcome them.
To help the government carry out its development program, ADB is more than doubling its country assistance to Nepal from $258 million in 2007-2008 to $559 million for 2009-2010, and is targeting about $287 million annually from 2011 to 2013.
During his visit, Mr. Kuroda made field trips to various ADB-assisted projects in Lumbini and the surrounding areas, and met with the projects’ beneficiaries. 
Since ADB first started assisting Nepal in 1969, it has provided nearly $3 billion in concessional loans and grants for investment projects, and about $138 million in technical assistance grants.
BBN/SS/SI/AD-29July10-3:41 am (BST)