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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Nepal: An array of measures to tackle gender-based violence

Group photo of the participants from above

01.02.2016 - 30.06.2020

Gender-based violence is a widespread problem in Nepal, and an obstacle to sustainable development. The SDC and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched a 3-year prevention and response project at the beginning of 2016. Women and girls are learning about their rights and being encouraged to report assaults. Men and boys are being encouraged to change their behaviour towards women. And duty bearers are learning to respond more rapidly and effectively. The project is already delivering first encouraging results.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Nepal
Gender
Human rights
Sexual & gender-based violence
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Ending violence against women and girls
Human rights

01.02.2016 - 30.06.2020


CHF 3'743'000



Thin lines that change lives

Women carrying baskets walk on a trail bridge.

01.08.2014 - 30.11.2019

In Nepal, trail bridges are vital for rural mobility. Almost 80 of them were severely damaged or destroyed during the earthquakes of 2015, jeopardizing access to education, health services and local markets for thousands of inhabitants in the mountainous regions. The SDC joined the reconstruction efforts, basing its intervention on the long-standing expertise it has in the country. 

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Nepal
Agriculture & food security
Rural infrastructure (till 2016)
Agriculture value-chain development (til 2016)
TRANSPORT AND STORAGE
OTHER MULTISECTOR
Transport policy and administrative management
Rural development

01.08.2014 - 30.11.2019


CHF 10'998'000



A vocational education and training fund for disadvantaged people in Nepal

 Eine junge nepalesische Frau arbeitet an einem Sicherungskasten.

01.01.2011 - 30.06.2020

The SDC established the Nepal Employment Fund together with the Government of Nepal and other partners to create training opportunities for young and disadvantaged people.  Training institutions fund the courses and the fund reimburses them if those receiving training find a job with a satisfactory income.  

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Nepal
Vocational training
Employment & economic development
Vocational training
Employment creation
SME development
EDUCATION
OTHER SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
INDUSTRY
Vocational training
Employment policy and administrative management
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development

01.01.2011 - 30.06.2020


CHF 5'996'665



Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response Project (GBV Project)

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2027

Gender-based violence is prevalent in Nepal because of patriarchal values, lack of rights awareness or support services and poor implementation of laws. In the first phase, the project will directly reach 50,000 households in three districts with GBV prevention activities involving women, girls, men and boys and will provide improved medical, psychosocial and legal services for a minimum of 1’000 GBV survivors. Subsequently, the coverage will be increased.


Planned project

Subnational Governance Program (SNGP)

16.07.2023 - 15.07.2030

The overall goal of the Program is to support the subnational governments to build sustainable, inclusive and democratic institutions that deliver services to the citizens, especially from disadvantaged groups, in an efficient and effective way and as per their constitutional mandate. The Program will be nationally coordinated government-led and implementation will mainly take place in all seven provinces and 753 local level governments of Nepal.


Planned project

Enhanced Skills for Sustainable and Reliable Employment (ENSSURE)

01.01.2020 - 31.12.2025

500’000 unskilled youths enter the Nepali labour market yearly but remain un- or underemployed as the market cannot absorb them. ENSSURE aims at enhancing gainful wage and self-employment mainly for youth of disadvantaged groups through short-/medium-term training, apprenticeship and business skills development. It will work through close public-private partnerships at national and district level of the vocational training and expand service provision to sectors of high productivity and employment.


She Leads – Women Leadership Programme

01.01.2019 - 31.12.2022

Federalism has created a historic opportunity for some 14’000 Nepalese women, over half of them from socially discriminated groups, to serve for the first time as elected representatives at local level. However, most elected women at local level remain excluded from political decision making due to discrimination based on patriarchal norms and values, and lack of resources and networks. The project promotes women leadership to support the peace process and to prevent future conflicts.


Planned project

State Support Programme (SSP)

01.10.2018 - 31.07.2030

Well-functioning State institutions and governance processes are key to success or failure of the new federal system in Nepal. States are a critical catalyst for identity, conflict resolution, regional development and the consolidation of the peace process. By promoting platforms for intergovern-mental cooperation and deliberative processes, and by fostering implementation capacities and the link with citizens in State 1, the program contributes to a successful federal transition in Nepal.


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.


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