|Five development partners sign joint MoU with Nepal
Nepal's five development partners - Norway, Switzerland, UNICEF, UNFPA and UN Women on Thursday signed a joint MoU of development cooperation with Nepal for a period of five years (2013-2017).
Nepal's Secretary of Finance, Shanta Raj Subedi and Alf Arne Ramslien, Ambassador of Norway to Nepal signed the document to this effect on behalf of their respective government and coalition amid a function in the capital.
This arrangement will provide financial assistance to the government of Nepal for the successful implementation of the second phase of Local Governance and Community Development Program (LGCDP-II).
According to a press statement issued by the Ministry of Finance, the total estimated cost of the Program is US$ 1,362 million (Rs 136.2 billion).
Of the total cost, the government will contribute US$ 1,126 million (Rs 112.6 billion) and the development partners US$ 236 million (Rs 23.6 billion).
The program will be executed by the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development and implemented through local bodies. It covers all 75 districts, 58 municipalities and 3,915 VDCs, and will run from July 16, 2013 to July 17, 2017.
LGCDP II is expected to benefit two million households by providing them community infrastructure based on bottom-up planning process. It will strengthen local governance and ensure that 90 percent of VDC secretaries are in a position to deliver services effectively.
The first phase of the LGCDP completed in July 2013, successfully establishing important links between the state and citizens in the aftermath of the conflict.
LGCDP-I reached to almost one million people, at least 50 per cent of them women, through 40,000 ward citizen forums to hold the local bodies accountable.
However, the program also fell under sharp criticism for its very poor monitoring mechanism and thus failing to check several incidents of corruption and malpractices by the local implementing NGOs and other bodies. Presence of LGCDP officials was rare during execution of a program, for example, public hearing, while visual documentation in part of the implementing agencies was not mandatory, thus creating big loop holes for irregularities.
The program is said to have upgraded over 8,700 kilometers of roads, renovated 2,150 schools and upgraded 1,031 health facilities and benefitted 1.9 million households by providing community infrastructure on demand.
Considering the importance of the program, the government has decided to implement the 2nd phase of LGCDP under the joint funding approach, according to the statement. nepalnews.com