Nepal

Switzerland is supporting the democratic development of the new federal state in Nepal. Through the SDC, it is working to promote equitable socio-economic development and to enable men and women to exercise their rights and responsibilities within the new federal structures.

Map of Nepal
© FDFA

 

Nepal is undergoing profound demographic, economic and political transformations. It is urbanising very rapidly, with the proportion of people living in cities expected to double by 2050. In 2015, the country was hit by a series of earthquakes, causing a slowdown in its economy. Labour migration, mainly to the Gulf States, is a key factor in reducing poverty, but is vulnerable to fluctuations in the regional economy. The national poverty rate has fallen from 53% to 23% in 15 years, thanks in particular to remittances by Nepalese workers in the Gulf States.

Nepal adopted a new federal constitution in 2015, creating 753 new local governments and seven new provinces. Elections in 2017 led to the appointment of thousands of newly elected officials from a range of social and economic backgrounds. However, forging a political culture that addresses the needs of the population remains a challenge, as does the functioning of the new federal system.

Swiss contributions to development and cooperation

Formation of a federal state

Ensuring gender-equitable socio-economic development 

Through the SDC, Switzerland supports the creation of forums for citizen consultation and participation within municipalities with a view to planning resources and managing identity conflicts. It also fosters capacity building for public sector employees and elected officials to ensure good-quality public service. It promotes participation, particularly by women, discriminated groups and migrant workers, so that they can exercise their rights and responsibilities and help influence the functioning, policies and decisions of the state in their favour.

The SDC also works to bolster dialogue between the authorities and the population as well as to improve the management of public finances. For example, Switzerland played a key role in shaping the new constitution, providing experts and offering the benefit of its own experience.

Engagement in fragile contexts and conflict prevention

State and economic reforms

Job and income creation

Supporting vocational skills development, improved agricultural production and infrastructure development

The SDC helps women and men, especially those from disadvantaged groups, to develop vocational skills that will enable them to find a job and increase their income. It also aims to encourage public participation in policymaking in the areas of agriculture, vocational education and training and infrastructure construction.

Enhancing the quality of production through services and advice to producers, and improving access to rural and urban markets, are also among the SDC's priorities. Young people in particular are helped to develop vocational skills through the apprenticeship model.

With SDC support, efficient transport infrastructure and irrigation systems have been put in place, improving the food security of over a million Nepalis, 60% of them from disadvantaged groups and 42% women.

Private sector development/Youth employment

Safer migration

Reducing migration-related risks

Labour migration is a mainstay of the Nepalese economy. Around 400,000 people emigrate each year, mainly to the Gulf States. Sixty per cent are men aged 18 to 40. Half of all Nepalese families receive remittances from abroad. These funds account for over 25% of the country's GDP.

Since 2011, the SDC has been working with the government in its efforts to promote safer migration: it helps to reduce the risks of abuse and exploitation by strengthening information services and access to continuing education and training prior to departure, as well as offering advice to the women left at home, in particular on how to better manage their savings. Where necessary, the SDC also contributes to services like legal assistance and psychological support. 

Migration

Approach and partners

The programme works with Nepalese, Swiss and international implementing partners, including national, provincial and local governmental organisations, UN agencies and international financial institutions, civil society organisations and private sector entities. With a focus on policymaking and dialogue, Switzerland helps to forge alliances and establish coordinated positions among donors. The International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) is a key partner for the SDC.

Current projects

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Migrant Rights and Decent Work (MiriDew)

01.09.2018 - 31.08.2021

Remittances sent home by over 3 million Nepali migrant workers have significantly reduced poverty. Nevertheless, the rights of migrants are regularly violated. The proposed project will enhance the Government of Nepal’s understanding of overseas labour market conditions and strengthen mechanisms to better protect the rights of Nepali workers at home and abroad through better consular support and a strong presence in the international policy dialogue.


Safer Migration (SaMI III) project

16.07.2018 - 15.07.2022

Labour migration is positively affecting Nepal’s socio-economic development with remittances significantly reducing poverty. Nevertheless, the rights of migrants are often violated. The Safer Migration project will empower migrants and their families and strengthen government protection mechanisms. The project will benefit about 600’000 men and women in three states of Nepal and enable about 60 local governments to run foreign employment services.


Motorable Local Roads Bridge Programme (MLRBP) – Phase III

01.03.2017 - 31.07.2020

MLRBP III will contribute directly to improved livelihoods of 1.2 million rural people through technical assistance in bridge building and facilitating improved access. Lack of access to services, markets and opportunities remains one of the reasons for high poverty. Bridges on local roads are critical for an all year round access for the rural poor, creating economic and social development opportunities for them, and reducing the huge economic costs they incur for travel, trade, health and farm inputs.



Local Roads Improvement Programme (LRIP – II)

16.07.2016 - 31.07.2018

Past SDC interventions have focussed on making rural road construction work for the poor and disadvantaged through labour-intensive construction methods. This project now takes proven approaches further by ensuring even more all-weather accessibility to markets and services by emphasising the importance of maintenance and preservation of built roads through promotion of labour-based roads maintenance methods and by fostering an institutional process in the districts, which should pave the way for the highly successful concepts of road construction and maintenance to be adopted as national standards.
 


Motorable Local Roads Bridge Programme (MLRBP) – Phase II

01.06.2016 - 28.02.2018

Lack of access to services, markets and opportunities is one of the reasons for high incidence of poverty in Nepal. The Government of Nepal (GoN) has accorded a high priority to the construction of bridges to improve accessibility of remote areas in Nepal and increased the budget 5-fold in the last four years. The proposed phase will build on GoN’s confidence in the Swiss technical support, while preparing to accelerate the construction of bridges to facilitate improved access.


National Human Rights Commission’s Strategic Plan Support Project (SPSP)

01.05.2016 - 31.12.2020

People in Nepal still suffer from lack of effective human rights protection, weak public accountability, and prevailing impunity. Switzerland and Denmark continue to support the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) aiming at systematically developing its internal capacity. The third phase will enable the NHRC to better fulfil its mandate and increase its legitimacy and leverage to advocate more effectively for the protection and promotion of human rights for the people of Nepal.


Decentralized Rural Infrastructure and Livelihood Project (DRILP) – Phase III

01.01.2016 - 31.07.2021

DRILP Phase 3 will support the Government of Nepal to accelerate recovery and reconstruction following the devastating earthquake of 25 April 2015 and the major aftershock of 12 May 2015. The project will provide the Technical Assistance (TA) to implement the Asian Development Bank (ADB) financed Earthquake Emergency Assistance Project in rebuilding 450 kms of damaged roads in 12 districts[1] of Nepal and rehabilitate 200 kms of trails in two[2] districts.

[1] The 12 earthquake affected project districts are Solukhumbu, Okhaldhunga, Ramechhap, Dolakha, Kavre, Sindhuli, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Lamjung, Gorkha and Chitwan

[2] Dolakha and Gorkha


Contribution to Rural Housing Reconstruction Project (RHRP)

01.01.2016 - 31.12.2020

Rural households affected by the earthquake of April 25, 2015, especially from disadvantaged groups, will rebuild earthquake resistant houses through the RHRP, the Government’s lead project for housing reconstruction. With a total contribution of 7 million CHF, the Swiss support through a Multi-Donor Trust Fund managed by the World Bank, will enable an additional 3’500 rural households to rebuild. The contribution will be complemented by technical assistance through secondments and experts provided also by SDC/HA.


Contribution to Rural Housing Reconstruction Project (RHRP)

15.12.2015 - 31.12.2020

Rural households affected by the earthquake of April 25, 2015, especially from disadvantaged groups, will rebuild earthquake resistant houses through the RHRP, the Government’s lead project for housing reconstruction. The Swiss support through a Multi-Donor Trust Fund managed by the World Bank, will enable an additional 2’250 rural households to rebuild. The contribution will be complemented by technical assistance secondments provided by SDC humanitarian aid.


Employment Fund, Phase II

15.07.2015 - 30.06.2020

The earthquakes that struck Nepal in April and May 2015 caused the destruction of 500,000 houses and the damage of 280,000 houses[1]. Nepal does not have sufficient construction workers with knowledge of earthquake resilient technologies. This project will train 3,000 people from the disaster affected districts in reconstruction relevant trades and in the use of earthquake resilient building techniques while 4,000 houses, the trainees own as well as other homes, are built.  

 

[1] Figures provided by the Government of Nepal: http://drrportal.gov.np


Emergency Rehabilitation of Flood Damaged Trail Bridges – Single Phase

01.01.2015 - 31.07.2017

The lack of physical access to economic opportunities, natural resources and social services is highly correlated with incidence of poverty. Devastations caused by natural disasters further exacerbate social and economic vulnerability of disadvantaged groups. Approximately 60’000 people will regain their safe ‘safe’ river crossings and their access to services through the rehabilitation and rebuilding of 21 strategic trail bridges damaged by the recent flash floods in August 2014 in 5 districts of Nepal.

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