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Last Updated: Wed, 28.11.12 8:47

ADB recognizes outstanding projects at annual country meet

Three projects helping to improve the lives of the rural poor in Nepal have been recognized for excellence in delivering results by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

The projects that won the awards are the Rural Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Sector Project, the Subregional Transport Enhancement Project and the Secondary Town Integrated Urban Environmental Improvement Project all of which are supported by ADB.

Finance Secretary Shanta Raj Subedi presented the Outstanding Project Management Team Awards to the winning project teams at a special ceremony held in conjunction with ADB’s annual Country Portfolio Review meeting (CPRM) organized by ADB with the Government of Nepal.

"These awards recognize the projects teams' strong performance, efficiency in implementation and achievement of targets,” said Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director, Nepal Resident Mission. ”The successful implementation of these projects has significantly contributed toward maximizing ADB’s overall contribution to helping reduce poverty in the country, and in supporting efforts to promote sustainable development.”

ADB’s Nepal Resident Mission instituted the award scheme in 1996 to encourage ADB project teams to improve projects, in order to strengthen ADB’s goal to reduce poverty and promote development in Nepal.

The Rural Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Sector Project is helping to reduce poverty in isolated areas of Nepal to promote more inclusive and sustainable economic growth. This project is helping to improve connectivity, enhance economic and employment opportunities and increase rural access to markets and social services.

The Subregional Transport Enhancement Project has upgraded roads to provide a north–south link between the northeastern region and the East–West Highway and improved international trade corridors in the country, as well as enhancing customs clearance capacity.

Similarly, the Secondary Town Integrated Urban Environmental Improvement Project is helping to improve the quality of urban life in key regional centers through effective, efficient, and reliable delivery of improved and affordable municipal services.

The CPRM was attended by the staff of ADB and the Government of Nepal, reviewed the status of implementation of all ADB-assisted projects/programs and progress in achieving intended sector results. The meeting examined and discussed common project implementation problems and constraints and prepared a time-bound action plan, with quantifiable monitoring targets to improve portfolio performance and delivery of results on the ground. Recognizing the challenging project implementation environment at present, the 2012 CPRM covered a range of areas including (i) implications of FY2012/13 budget for development projects, (ii) performance constraints in energy and urban sectors, (iii) progressive actions to improve portfolio performance including readiness at project signing, public financial management, public procurement reforms, and enhanced quality of project audits; and (iv) effective monitoring and support of social and environmental safeguards, mainstreaming gender empowerment and social inclusion, and policy and institutional reforms such as sustainable infrastructure maintenance and improved accountability of project institutions. At the opening ceremony Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director, Nepal Resident Mission emphasized on the need to enhance quantity and quality of public investments in critical infrastructure and social capital. In this context he highlighted the paramount importance of enhancing the implementation capacity of development programs including prudent accountability to ensure quality and sustainability of created assets, along with stronger efforts to attract private sector investments in infrastructure.

ADB has worked in partnership with the Government of Nepal since the country joined ADB as a founding member in 1966. As of 31 September 2012, Nepal has received 158 loans/grants—122 sovereign ADF loans ($2,775.88 million), 5 non-sovereign loans ($58.64 million), and 32 ADF grants ($763.25 million) totaling $3,597.77 million. nepalnews.com