Nepal’s decade-long insurgency ended in 2006 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. Since that time, progress toward fostering political reform and addressing critical development challenges has been slowed by frequent changes in government leadership and by interest groups jostling for power. Despite the remarkable development gains achieved by the country in recent decades, Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in the world. In 2010, Nepal was named a focus country under all three presidential development initiatives—Feed the Future, the Global Health Initiative, and the Global Climate Change Initiative—which will improve USAID’s ability to expand development efforts in the country.
Agriculture and Food Security
The Feed the Future (FTF) initiative aims to sustainably increase the agricultural sector’s productivity and improve nutritional status, especially of women and children. To this end, over the next five years, USAID will provide targeted assistance, including agriculture inputs, extension services and market linkages, to up to 1 million vulnerable Nepalese—mostly smallholder farmers—to help them escape hunger and poverty. In conjunction with the Global Health Initiative, FTF will benefit over 390,000 children by improving nutrition and reducing stunting and child mortality.
Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance
USAID works to encourage robust citizen participation at the national and local level. At the national level, USAID supports government and political systems by helping key institutions, such as the Election Commission, the Constituent Assembly and political parties, to become more democratic, inclusive and effective. At the local level, USAID helps communities to participate effectively in development decisions that affect them, and we foster linkages between citizens and their Village Development Committees and District Development Committees, as well as other local government offices. USAID programs also strengthen services for human trafficking survivors and those at high risk for trafficking, who are among Nepal’s most vulnerable populations.
USAID supports the Government of Nepal’s efforts to provide sustainable, accessible and quality basic health services to its citizens, particularly the poor. Our assistance takes interventions proven to reduce maternal, neonatal, and child mortality and expands these practices to reach additional geographical areas. USAID programs also make contributions in areas prioritized in the Government of Nepal’s health plan, including support for disabled people, water and sanitation, and disaster preparedness. USAID increases consumer awareness and demand for quality health products and provides support to small- and medium-sized Nepalese businesses that seek to profitably manufacture and sell these products.
Economic Growth and Trade
USAID’s economic growth activities aim to improve the income-generating potential of the poorest of the poor, expand young people’s access to jobs, increase farmers’ incomes and food security, help the Government of Nepal address macroeconomic and agricultural sector policies, and improve Nepal’s business environment for private sector–led growth. Economic growth efforts also encourage competitiveness and exports; improve trade and fiscal policies and practices; and strengthen microfinance policies and institutions by working with the Government, the private sector, think tanks and civil society.
USAID helps the Government of Nepal strengthen early childhood education, particularly early grade reading, by updating its curriculum and improving teachers’ skills, building the foundation for subsequent primary education. USAID’s efforts also increase community awareness of and demand for Early Childhood Education Development (ECED) services, and improve the Government’s capacity to monitor the national network of ECED centers.
Environment and Global Climate Change
Building on recent USAID achievements in agriculture development and natural resources management, USAID’s new Hariyo Ban (“Green Forests”) activity will reduce threats to biodiversity and the vulnerabilities of global climate change through interventions in two critical bio-diverse areas of the country. Other activities build local capacity for using genetics for conservation and improve markets for Nepal’s non-timber forest products.
Working in Crises and Conflict
Nepal is highly susceptible to natural disasters, including floods, landslides, droughts, epidemics, and earthquakes. USAID’s investments improve Nepal’s level of preparedness and response capabilities, increase awareness and drive implementation of disaster risk reduction measures. USAID also supports the rehabilitation of victims of Nepal’s prolonged conflict, and provides funding via a multi-donor trust fund to re-integrate former Maoist combatants.
HIGHLIGHTS OF OUR WORK
- With support from USAID and other donors, Nepal has reduced child deaths from 145 to 54 per 1,000 live births between 1990 and 201
- USAID has supported Nepal in reducing maternal deaths from 515 to 281 per 100,000 live births between 1990 and 2006.
- USAID’s Smallholder Irrigation Market Initiative taught Nepalese farmers to use micro-irrigation technology that boosted agricultural output on marginal lands and increased incomes of 72,760 households (about 500,000 people) by $200 per year.
Last updated: May 10, 2013