Inclusion, conflict management top UN priorities for Nepal

The United Nations has allocated $658 million to reach 10 goals it identified for its engagement in Nepal over the next five years.

These goals were outlined in the United Nations’ new development assistance framework for Nepal for the period 2013-2017. The framework will guide the work of the local U.N. country team and the 14 U.N. agencies in the country.  It was approved Sept. 5, with the final copy released online Sept. 11.

The 10 broad outcomes identified in the document include the following:

  • Better and equitable access to social services for vulnerable and disadvantaged population groups.

  • Improved access to economic opportunities and social protection for vulnerable groups.

  • Foster an experience of greater confidence, dignity and respect for vulnerable groups.

  • Improved accountability and effectiveness of government systems and processes.

  • Increased resilience to disasters and climate change.

  • Better conflict risk management.

  • Stronger government and economic institutions.

  • Adequate response to conflict-related human rights violations.

  • Establish government functions and services necessary to support a new federal constitution.

Among activities the United Nations will fund to achieve these outcomes are a school sector reform program that will involve UNESCOUNICEF and the World Food Program, a series of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) initiatives, and capacity development programs for various Nepalese institutions.

On top of these activities would be monitoring and evaluation activities designed to ensure the United Nations is on track to meeting the identified goals, as well as to avoid fraud and funding misuse.

Nepal’s National Planning Commission will be the United Nations’ chief partner in implementing the new strategy. The commission’s vice chair will co-chair the steering committee that will be in charge of implementation, alongside the U.N. resident coordinator.

Nepal, according to the World Bank, is one of the world’s poorest countries. It ranks 157 out of 187 on the Human Development Index. Its most persistent development challenges include lack of reliable and accessible power sources, and poor infrastructure. It is currently undergoing political transition following a 10-year conflict that ended in 2006.

In 2010, Nepal received $821 million in official development assistance, down from $854 million in 2009. In 2008, it received $689 million. Nepal’s top donors are the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the United Kingdom, Japan and the United States.

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributes to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.