Nepal

Nepal has faced one socioeconomic shock after another in a relatively short period of time, be it the ten- year civil war or the devastating earthquake or the unstable government, which has changed 25 times since the restoration of democracy in 1990.

At the end of 2015, the government introduced the Public Private Partnership (PPP) policy followed by trainings and programmes emphasizing the need for private investment to finance public services, especially for the SDGs. The ultimate need of private entities to maximize profits in order to stay in business is fundamentally incompatible with protecting the environment and ensuring universal access to quality public services. This is evident in the failure of Kathmandu Upatyaka Khanepani Ltd. (KUKL), the first PPP scheme in 2008, to deliver its promise to improve the water delivery efficiency around Kathmandu Valley. High water tariffs, undersupply of water and high deficits also shows the inefficiency of the board, chaired by the representative from a private sector, along with KUKL.

School children in Nepal’s
practice an earthquake drill in
the event of a natural disaster.
Photo: Department of Foreign
Affairs and Trade/CC-BY-2.0

The death toll has now passed 3,300, and there is no telling how much farther it will climb. Search and rescue operations in Nepal entered their third day Monday, as the government and international aid agencies scramble to cope with the aftermath of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck this South Asian nation on Apr. 25.

Severe aftershocks have this land-locked country of 27.8 million people on edge, with scores missing and countless others feared dead, buried under the rubble.

Even after four UN Conferences and four specific Programmes of Action for addressing special development challenges of LDCs, the number of LDCs has doubled from 24 in 1971 to 48 now. Only four countries have graduated out of the LDC category so far. Hence, it is critical that LDCs and development partners act with greater political will to materialise their commitments defending LDCs’ developmental interests and priorities. Above all, it’s the accountability to LDC peoples that is key and of utmost priority.

There are many issues that the people of LDCs and the governments face, that stand as roadblocks to graduation. The dominant development paradigm and the current international aid architecture, which overwhelmingly prioritizes profits and markets have failed in addressing the development challenges faced by LDCs. 

Making livelihood after taking
construction training.(Photo: RRN)

Evidence in Nepal suggests that the root causes of the political conflict include not only the severity of poverty and inequality but also the sense of entrenchment - that opportunities are limited or non-existent for the poor to climb out of poverty.

Therefore, addressing constraints on the inclusiveness of development is critical in order to make a real difference in the lives of Nepalis and reduce the risks of instability.

Evidence in Nepal suggests that the root causes of the political conflict include not only the severity of poverty and inequality but also the sense of entrenchment - that opportunities are limited or non-existent for the poor to climb out of poverty. Therefore, addressing constraints on the inclusiveness of development is critical in order to make a real difference in the lives of Nepalis and reduce the risks of instability. Systemic changes in the development approach must be undertaken to adequately address the needs and priorities of the excluded and marginalized sections of the society. A stable political structure upon which well-informed policies, institutions and mechanisms can function over time is a major determinant for people’s empowerment and strengthening Nepal’s peace and fragile democracy.

In terms of gender equity Nepal is in a worst condition than its neighbour China, although better than India, and above the South Asian average, which is already the lowest among all regions in the whole world.

Political instability, human rights violations and corruption are among the main challenges to sustainable development in the country. The Government also needs to address the loss of biodiversity and the mismanagement of agricultural resources, alongside the protection and fulfilment of human rights, the promotion of people’s participation in all aspects of State governance and the ending of corruption in politics at all levels. However discrimination based on class, caste, ethnicity, religion and gender is fuelling the creation and perpetuation of poverty, hunger, environmental destruction/degradation and conflict. Unless these underlying issues are effectively addressed, sustainable development will remain a dream.
Photo: WB Out of Climate Finance

The Nepalese Campaign for Climate Justice Network (CCJN) and other groups organized a demonstration on Oct. 12 near the office of the World Bank in Kathmandu against the role of that international financial institution in the Green Climate Fund.

Photo: Rural Reconstruction Nepal.

LDC Watch International Secretariat in Nepal participated in a mass rally coordinated by the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction on the occasion of the Day of Peace on Sept. 21 in Kathmandu. Rural Reconstruction Nepal (RRN, focal point of Social Watch), South Asian Alliance for Poverty Eradication and hundreds of people representing various government agencies, civil society organizations and private sectors participated in the rally.

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