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

Object 25 – 28 of 28

Nepal Vocational Qualifications System (NVQS)

01.02.2014 - 15.07.2020

In Nepal, 500’000 youths enter the labour market yearly but remain un- or underemployed. The project will support the Ministry of Education to establish a National Vocational Qualifications Framework and a corresponding NVQ Authority to manage it. Learners and workers, especially from disadvantaged groups, will benefit from an improved vocational training qualification and skills certification system, thus increasing their chances for sustainable and decent employment.


Small Irrigation Prorgamme (SIP)

01.02.2014 - 31.12.2019

Incidence of poverty in irrigated areas of Nepal is half that in rain-fed areas and access to irrigation water contributes thus to mitigate poverty. Since the marginal lands are better accessible through small irrigation schemes, reducing poverty of smallholder farmers through small irrigation systems[1] are more effective than medium-sized or large systems. SIP will not only help increase their agricultural productivity but will also enhance the capacity of national and local government so that they can respond to these needs.

[1] Small-scale irrigation, defined by the GoN's irrigation policy as command areas smaller than 25 ha in the hills and mountains and 200 ha in Terai.

 


Nepal Agricultural Markets Development Programme (NAMDP)

01.01.2014 - 31.12.2019

Semi-commercial small farmers, mostly cultivating less than 1 ha and often from disadvantaged groups, face significant hurdles to participate in agricultural product and input markets, thus failing to tap existing potentials to increase their production, farm income and well-being. Complementary to other Swiss projects, NAMDP will focus on market system development to foster market-led and inclusive growth of commercial agriculture, working with the production and marketing actors.


Object 25 – 28 of 28