An unprecedented joint funding agreement signed Aug. 18 could help bring Nepal closer to achieving the Millennium Development Goals of reducing child mortality and improving maternal health.
Donors to the facility include the World Bank, U.K. Department for International Development, Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization, U.S. Agency for International Development, United Nations Population Fund and UNICEF.
The agreement provides for one simplified aid management system that aims to reduce the reporting that donors require from developing countries.
“The signing of the Joint Financing Arrangement is an important step by an increasing number of development partners in their commitment to strengthen government systems. It is our strong belief that the strengthening of our own systems is, even when it would take time, in the end the best value for aid money,” said Rameshore Khanal, Nepal’s secretary of finance, who signed the accord on behalf of the government.
The World Bank, in particular, will provide USD177.5 million to help low-income Nepalis have access to health services and nutritious food through the Second Heath, Nutrition and Population and HIV/AIDS Project and Social Safety Nets Project.
“The two projects will help address problems that are closely inter-linked,” said Susan Goldmark, World Bank country director for Nepal. “Improvements in health outcomes will depend to a large extent on improvements in nutrition among food-insecure populations.”