KATHMANDU, June 26, 2012—World Bank Vice President for Concessional Finance and Global Partnerships, Axel van Trotsenburg, concluded a three-day visit to Nepal for talks with government and development leaders, as well as project site visits.
Mr. van Trotsenburg met with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, Finance Minister Barsha Man Pun and senior officials of the Government of Nepal, including Chief Secretary Madhav Prasad Ghimire and Finance Secretary Krishna Hari Baskota, to discuss ways to further strengthen the Nepal-World Bank partnerships. He also met with heads of bilateral and multilateral development agencies based in Kathmandu.
Mr. van Trotsenburg, who is responsible for the International Development Association (IDA) – the World Bank’s fund for the poorest 82 countries, also conducted site visits to community-led projects in Dhading district, including a rural water supply and sanitation scheme, a poverty alleviation fund scheme and a community-managed school. Nationally, these projects receive IDA funding of nearly US$380 million.
“Nepal has made impressive gains,” said Mr. van Trotsenburg. “The evidence is compelling that the strength behind development in Nepal is concentrated at the community level. Where a supportive framework has been created for communities, there have been notable development successes in the provision of clean water, basic health care and livelihood opportunities, especially for women.”
In meetings with the authorities, Mr. van Trotsenburg discussed the broader strategic issues related to the global IDA partnership involving donors and beneficiary countries. He welcomed the emphasis Nepal has placed on gender and equality. "Nepal’s experiences in reducing poverty and improving social indicators, particularly the sharp decrease in the Maternal Mortality Rate, should be shared more broadly with other lower-income IDA countries,” he noted.
IDA’s support for country-driven development programs is reflected in Nepal’s Interim Strategy Note for Fiscal Years 2012-13, which focuses on enhancing connectivity and productivity for growth; reducing vulnerabilities and improving resilience; and promoting access to better quality services. Governance, accountability, gender equality and social inclusion are themes that run throughout the strategy. Under the strategy, Nepal can potentially benefit from an allocation of US$200 million a year in IDA resources.
The current IDA portfolio in Nepal comprises 16 projects with a value of about US$1.27 billion.