UN grants US$ 8m to Nepal for peace-building
The United Nations Peacebuilding Fund today released $8 million for Nepal, "recognizing the ongoing challenges in Nepal’s peace process". The funds will be administered by the local UN Peace Fund for Nepal, overseen by the Government, the United Nations and donors.
The funds will be directed to a number of areas to help consolidate the peace, including improving policing, support to the courts, promoting dialogue and leadership and reinforcing national efforts to address the needs of women and conflict affected children, a statement issued by the UN said.
Acknowledging this contribution, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal, Robert Piper, noted the important achievements in the peace process to-date, including imminent completion of the discharge and integration process of the ex-Maoist army, successful and largely peaceful elections in 2008, removal of all minefields in the country and a smooth transition to a Republic.
Piper also noted the ongoing challenges and the recently missed 27 May deadline for a new Constitution and the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly that followed. “As we saw in late May, some of the most difficult and sensitive issues of the peace process are still ahead of Nepal. At this uncertain juncture, we will target these resources towards interventions that will help move the peacebuilding process forward” said he. “The events of May also remind us of the need to think and act preventively, to ensure we protect the important gains achieved to date” he added.
On the occasion of the release of the Funds, Judy Cheng-Hopkins, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, noted that “beyond the immediate focus on short-term issues, Nepal will continue to require significant medium- and long-term investment in peacebuilding to address the underlying causes of the conflict. We want to see our resources fund projects that will create momentum in support of the peace process in Nepal.”
Nepal was declared eligible for funding from the UN Peacebuilding Fund by the UN Secretary General in December 2007. The first funding release of $10 million was directed towards a range of activities relating to youth employment, conflict-affected children, mobile health camps, health services inside the cantonments and support to the discharge of minors from the Maoist army cantonments in early 2010. The PBF also recently allocated $900,000 to a new gender initiative in Nepal.
Today’s release brings the total resources allocated to Nepal by the UN Peacebuilding Fund to almost $19 million. nepalnews.com