The Export-Import Bank of India (India Exim) has lent US$750mn to the government of Nepal for reconstruction projects from 2015’s devastating earthquake.

The finance will cover 16 road projects in the Himalayan country. It is the third letter of credit (LC) the export credit agency has issued since the disaster, but by far the largest.

The first LC was worth US$100mn and the second US$250mn. This will take the volume of post-disaster lending from India Exim to over US$1bn.

The conditions of the lending maintain that at least 75% of the goods and services used in the road projects would be of Indian origin, in line with India Exim’s lending rules.

While there was immediate financial support available to Nepal in the aftermath to the earthquake, which killed more than 8,000 people in April 2015 and injured more than 20,000 others, reconstruction efforts continue, and do so at a slow pace.

In the immediate aftermath, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) extended US$40mn in trade finance to Nepal to assist the disaster relief efforts.

An expansion of the ADB’s Trade Finance Programme (TFP), the finance assisted with the import of emergency supplies, mainly basic commodities such as food and medicine, as well as supplies related to reconstruction.

GTR reported at the time that the funds were available immediately through four Nepali banks – Himalayan Bank, Nabil Bank, Nepal Investment Bank and NIC Asia Bank, all of which had already signed up to the TFP.

Reconstruction costs were initially estimated to be around US$6.69bn, but last year the figure was revised up to US$7.86bn. More than a million homes were destroyed by the 7.8-magnitude earthquake, which also ravaged the nation’s infrastructure.

While foreign government and donor agencies pledged US$4.1bn to the reconstruction efforts, the Nepalese government was criticised for not taking swifter action: it took a number of months to form a reconstruction agency, while a year after the financial pledges were made, the agency had only managed to sign agreements for about half of the amount.