India pledges $1 bn to Nepal as quake aid tops $3 billion

India on Thursday pledged $1 billion for earthquake reconstruction in Nepal, with a quarter of the amount coming in the form of grants, foreign minister Sushma Swaraj told a donor conference at which China and even smaller neighbours also offered help to Nepal.

Swaraj said the $1 billion was over and above India's existing aid pledges to Nepal.

"This takes our total assistance to Nepal over the next five years to $2 billion," she said.

The international community pledged over $3 billion for Nepal's reconstruction at a conference in Kathmandu on Thursday.

In the opening ceremony of International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction, five other countries, including China, Japan, US, European Union and Norway offered support to Nepal's post-quake reconstruction works.

''We expect that these amounts will significantly help the quickest possible recovery and reconstruction efforts of the government and people of Nepal,'' said Swaraj before returning to India.

''We also hope that early implementation of important projects such as Pancheshwar, Arun III and Upper Karnali Hydropower Projects and Nijgarh Airport and Kathmandu-Nijgarh Fast Track Road Projects will create new avenues for people's livelihood, enhance government's revenue and contribute towards speedy post quake recovery and rehabilitation,'' she added.

On Wednesday, Swaraj had called on Nepal Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and conveyed to him that India would stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the quake-battered country in its massive reconstruction efforts and ensure "quickest" recovery.

"I am glad to see that in spite of the tragedy, the people of Nepal have displayed a steely determination to rebuild their country. India will continue to stand together with the people and government of Nepal in the quickest recovery and reconstruction," she said.

China pledged has $460 million, followed by Japan ($260 million), US ($130 million), European Union ($112 million) and Norway ($13 million).

World Bank and the Asian Development Bank have pledged $500 million and $600 million, respectively.

Ministers from Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan also pledged their support but did not speak about the figures.

In the ongoing business session that followed the inaugural ceremony, more countries are pledging their support.

Nepal needs at least $6 billion to rebuild public and individual houses, agriculture, health, education and tourism sectors damaged by the 25 April earthquake.