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.

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

Object 1 – 12 of 24

Support to Dealing with the Past Roadmap implementation in Nepal

01.04.2022 - 31.03.2026

Switzerland contributes to peace and stability in Nepal by addressing the root causes of the conflict. A Dealing with Past Roadmap ensures that actors and institutions fulfill their responsibilities towards the four pillars of Transitional Justice- truth, justice, reparations and non-recurrence. The conflict victims will participate in the process and benefit from the delivery of needed services within the federal state structure.


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 - 31.12.2023

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.


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 - 31.12.2024

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 - 30.06.2026

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 - 15.07.2024

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.


GBVPR - Gender-based Violence Prevention and Response Project

01.07.2020 - 30.06.2024

With its longstanding experience in promoting psychosocial support services and a strong engagement in support of federal state building, Switzerland is well positioned to engage on reducing all forms of GBV and discrimination against women in Nepal. The project aims at strengthening and institutionalizing a coordinated, survivor-centred response for GBV victims, addressing root causes and engaging with all government levels for a more gender equitable policy environment. 


Support to Relief and Recovery from COVID-19

01.05.2020 - 01.09.2025

The proposed interventions support the Government of Nepal in its efforts to contain the further spread of COVID-19 and to address the socio-economic consequences, in particular for disadvantaged groups. As a trusted partner and with its longstanding experience in development cooperation, Switzerland is well positioned to effectively provide relief and recovery during, and in the aftermath of the pandemic, in close collaboration with local and international stakeholders.

Object 1 – 12 of 24