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Nepal and the World Bank: Four Decades of Development Partnerships

February 2, 2011

The World Bank Group has been a development partner in Nepal for the past four decades, providing financing, technical assistance and advice.

Over the years, the Bank’s support has evolved in focus and form to meet the changing needs of Nepal. But this partnership has always maintained a primary purpose: the reduction of poverty to raise the living standards of the Nepali people.

The World Bank provided its first technical assistance grant to Nepal in 1964 to finance and organize a transport survey. But the first credit was approved in 1969 for a telecommunications project.

Over the next decade, the Bank’s assistance focused mainly on agriculture, irrigation and infrastructure development in telecommunications, highways, power, and water supply and sanitation.

As our partnership evolved, it became apparent that development had to be inclusive to be successful and sustainable. While working to improve the transfer of its extensive development knowledge , the World Bank become an active listener, seeking input from the local people who are the best authorities on their lives and their development needs.

In the following decades it become increasingly apparent that greater investments were needed in its human resources for Nepal to attain its full potential. At the same time, for development to be sustainable, it needed to include measures to protect the country’s natural resources.

While Bank assistance in the traditional areas continued, an increasing amount of assistance was provided in education and health, and to support forest management aimed at conserving Nepal’s precious biodiversity. Protection of the environment was also given increasing importance in all Bank financed projects.

As the partnership moves into the next decade, the World Bank Group will continue to help Nepal develop the systems, institutions and skills required to ensure that the future Nepali State prospers and deliver the benefits of development to its citizens in an inclusive and accountable manner.

Consistent with national priorities, the Bank Group will continue to support Nepal’s efforts at overcoming constraints in terms of productivity, connectivity and the delivery of public services, as well as help disadvantaged Nepalese cope with economic and social vulnerabilities.

The Bank will also continue to bring resources and decisions closer to beneficiaries, where they are likely to be most productively used.