How do you solve Nepal's foreign aid problem?

A farmer in Kaski, Nepal. Photo by: Simone D. McCourtie / World Bank

The foreign aid division of Nepal’s finance ministry will make aid more transparent this year, an official from the ministry has said.

Lal Shankar Ghimire, joint secretary and chief of the division, said the ministry is trying to launch an information management platform this year, an initiative that could address the foreign aid problem in the country.

At the book launch of the Alliance for Aid Monitor Nepal’s “Changing Paradigms of Aid Effectiveness in Nepal,” the country’s former water resources minister Deepak Gyawali said “there is aid in water and power” in Nepal “but people are deprived of both.”

Gyawali added the country has received “huge aid” for the agricultural sector for long, but lives of farmers have yet to improve.

“A half century of foreign aid has given the country of Nepal nothing but national shame,” he said.

According to Bimal ActionAid country director Phuyal Phuyal, aid effectiveness should be measured by how it is helping a country become independent and through transparency. He said that “all aid is not good” because it can promote dependency and fuel underdevelopment.

In the case of Nepal, foreign aid has contributed to the country’s per capita GDP. But it has also made the country suffer from a lack of absorptive capacity and aid volatility.

Nepal has been receiving foreign aid since 1950. For this year, it is expecting to receive assistance from several donors, including the European Union, which contributed €22 million ($31 million) to the Nepal Peace Trust Fund in 2011 for peace-building and stabilization efforts.

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About the author

  • Jenny Lei Ravelo

    Jenny Lei Ravelo is a Devex Senior Reporter based in Manila. She covers global health, with a particular focus on the World Health Organization, and other development and humanitarian aid trends in Asia Pacific. Prior to Devex, she wrote for ABS-CBN, one of the largest broadcasting networks in the Philippines, and was a copy editor for various international scientific journals. She received her journalism degree from the University of Santo Tomas.