Switzerland is supporting the development of the new federal state in Nepal. It is working to strengthen democratic institutions and improve public services and the business environment. It is also supporting gender equality, social inclusion and climate change adaptation and mitigation. Switzerland's activities are concentrated in Koshi province in the easternmost part of Nepal.

Map of Nepal


Nepal adopted a new constitution with a federal system in 2015. The building of this system is a historic opportunity to promote inclusive development. However, forging a political culture that addresses the needs of the population remains a challenge, as does the functioning of the new federal system.

Despite setbacks such as earthquakes and pandemics, Nepal has been able to develop economically. This has reduced poverty. Labour migration has played an essential role in Nepal's economic development, as has growing trade. Nepal has been able to implement important economic reforms and is likely to leave the category of least developed countries in 2026. Inclusive and sustainable economic growth is crucial for peace and stability.

Federal state-building

Strengthening federal institutions and public service delivery.

Nepal's federal system is similar to that of Switzerland. The Swiss Confederation is thus in a position to share experiences with Nepal on the development of federal structures. It advises provincial and local governments on drafting laws and policies, and on building knowledge and capacity. The aim of this approach is to support Nepal in providing communities with high quality, inclusive services.

Switzerland is also supporting the post-armed conflict (1996–2006) peace process and encouraging political parties to take part in the process for dealing with the past. Nepal should take the lead in this process, which must focus primarily on the victims of the conflict.

Good governance

Dealing with the past

Economy and employment

Creating favourable conditions – promoting employment and income opportunities

At all three levels of government (federal, provincial and municipal), the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) supports the creation of favourable conditions for inclusive and sustainable economic growth. This allows Switzerland to share its knowledge and technologies in various fields such as SME promotion, vocational skills development, agriculture and infrastructure. It also creates innovative financing solutions to mobilise private capital.

In 2016, a ground breaking project was launched to introduce a dual vocational training system in Nepal. This project is being gradually scaled up in close cooperation with the government. The dual vocational system provides companies with a well-qualified workforce and gives workers better job prospects and incomes.

Private sector development and financial services


Supporting migrants and their families

Switzerland is advising the Nepalese authorities at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to support them in clarifying their respective roles and responsibilities in the area of migration. It is also supporting the development of professional services for migrant workers and victims of gender-based violence, including awareness and training, psychosocial counselling, access to financial and business services and access to justice.

Switzerland is committed to the sustainable economic and social reintegration of migrant workers in their home countries. Migrant workers often return with valuable knowledge and skills that open up employment and income opportunities and contribute to local economic growth. Reintegration helps prevent cycles of migration.


Approach and partners

Gender equality, social inclusion and climate change mitigation are the overarching objectives that feed into all of Switzerland's projects in Nepal. Switzerland works in cooperation with governmental organisations at all three levels of government. Its projects are aligned with the priorities of the Nepalese government.

To achieve the objectives of its cooperation programme and support the Nepalese system, Switzerland employs various cooperation modalities and works closely with other development partners and different sectoral working groups.

Current projects

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MiRiDew - Migrant Rights and Decent Work

01.07.2023 - 31.12.2026

Remittances sent home by over 4 million migrant workers have significantly contributed to the economic development of Nepal. The proposed project will enhance the capacities of the Government of Nepal and strengthen mechanisms to better protect the rights of workers abroad. There will be a special focus on women’s need and the adverse effects of climate change exacerbating the vulnerability of migrants. The project capitalises on Switzerland’s longstanding engagement on labour migration in Nepal.

DIGI Nepal - Digital Innovation for Growth and Inclusion

01.07.2023 - 30.06.2025

This project Digital Innovation for Growth and Inclusion in Nepal, promotes digital innovation that is essential for an increased access of women and men, including from discriminated groups and beyond the capital, to affordable basic services. Therefore, it provides technical assistance and co-funding to digital tech providers, and facilitates their access to Swiss and international expertise and business relations. Digital innovation will also lead to market expansion as well as the creation of jobs and income.

Enhanced Skills for Sustainable and Rewarding Employment (ENSSURE) Phase II

16.07.2021 - 15.07.2025

For Nepalese women and men to gain and retain social and economic benefits from lifelong learning, the establishment of a well-functioning federalised Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) system is crucial. In light of its long-standing expertise in TVET and federalism, Switzerland is well placed to support the implementation of a federalised TVET system that responds to the needs of enterprises and increases the prospect of gainful employment for all, especially youths. 

2021 Population and Housing Census of Nepal

01.07.2021 - 31.12.2024

The goal is to support the Government of Nepal to conduct the 2021 census in line with international standards to obtain high quality data, reflecting Nepal’s social, ethnic, religious and linguistic diversity and which can be used to better respond to the needs of the different population groups. Given its track record and emphasis on federal state building, Switzerland has a key interest that the census is adapted to the federal context and gender equality and social inclusion principles are followed. 

Quality TVET for Youth (QualiTY)

01.06.2021 - 15.07.2026

The overall goal of the project is for Nepalese youth to benefit from quality Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and better employment prospects. To achieve this, the project will support the federal, provincial and local governments of Nepal to establish an accreditation and coaching system so that TVET schools can improve and meet national quality requirements. The project capitalises on Switzerland’s long-standing and unique expertise in TVET federalisation.

Udaya – Investment and Innovation for Economic Development

01.03.2021 - 30.11.2026

This programme aims for women and men to benefit from socioeconomic progress through growth and innovation of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in Province 1 of Nepal. Working with the provincial government, it will enhance the framework conditions for SMEs by enabling access to pertinent business development services, growth capital, and information on relevant public initiatives and services. It leverages Switzerland’s expertise in private sector development, blended finance, and federalisation.

Reintegration of Returnee Migrant Workers Project

01.01.2021 - 31.05.2027

The project will contribute to ensure migrant workers benefit fully from their migration experience by supporting the reintegration of returnee migrant workers in Nepal. It will work with the Nepali Government to provide reintegration services and support policy development to anchor them in the federal structure. Switzerland has a key interest that the potential of migration for development is fully used and is well positioned to engage on the topic, given its track record in migration in Nepal. 

MLRBP - Motorable Local Roads Bridge Programme

01.01.2021 - 30.06.2025

The project contributes to the consolidation of Swiss Knowhow transfer in the bridge building sector by supporting the government of Nepal in institutionalizing the implementation of local infrastructure at provincial levels in the spirit of the devolved provisions made in the new Constitution. This will increase people’s perception that their provincial government delivers most essential physical access to basic services and economic opportunities, boosting their confidence in the new federal system.

TTDP - Trail Based Tourism Development Project

01.12.2020 - 31.07.2028

The project aims at increasing income of Nepalese people through the promotion of trail based tourism. By attracting national and regional visitors along safe and scenic trails, it will contribute to preserve social and cultural heritage while generating local revenues. Switzerland’s convening power to bring together federal, provincial and local governments will be catalytic in promoting intergovernmental cooperation in view of strengthening local economic development.

Nepal Vocational Qualifications System (NVQS) Phase Il

16.07.2020 - 15.07.2026

Based on Swiss expertise in Technical and Vocational Education and Training, the project

contributes to establish a federal vocational qualifications system. The NVQS will increase the

transparency on the labour market for employers and workers, improve official recognition of

workers competencies in hospitality, construction and automobile sectors and allow links between

TVET and general education to access higher level qualifications for better employment in

domestic and international labour market.

NAMDP - Nepal Agricultural Markets Development Program

01.07.2020 - 30.11.2024

This market systems development project seeks to stimulate job creation and increase income, including for women and disadvantaged groups, through a successful transformation of agricultural markets in Province 1 of Nepal. Leveraging Swiss expertise in market systems and geographical focus in the province, it will align with the provincial government’s priorities and strengthen its potential to effectively regulate, nurture and stimulate markets’ productivity and competitiveness.

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