November 3: An eleven-member delegation of the World Bank Group Executive Directors (EDs) visited Nepal from October 29 to November 1, to gain a comprehensive view of Nepal’s current development status and opportunities.
According to the World Bank, the visit marked the 50th year of World Bank Group-Nepal engagement, with the first World Bank credit in Nepal approved by the board on November 4, 1969.The trip was part of a larger visit to the South Asia Region that will also include Bangladesh and the Maldives, World Bank said in a statement.
During their visit, the EDs met with representatives from federal and local governments, the private sector, development partners, and civil society. Discussions centered around Nepal’s transition to federalism, the need to invest in the country’s human capital, crowding in the private sector for diversified investment, the pace of reconstruction after the earthquakes in 2015, and the creation of jobs, especially for Nepal’s youth.
“Nepal has made progress in reduction of poverty and its stable government signals a smoother transition to the federal structure,” the statement quoted Jorge Chavez Presa, spokesperson of the delegation as saying. “However, to ensure stronger and more sustained growth, it needs rapid strengthening of institutions and systems. The World Bank Group is committed to help the Government of Nepal achieve its ambitious goals for the benefit of all Nepalis.”
The EDs’ conversations with Finance Minister Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada focused on leveraging World Bank Group-wide support for the federalism agenda, maximizing finance for development, and investing in health and education for the people of Nepal, the statement further said.
During the visit to an earthquake reconstruction site in Patlekhet of Kavrepalanchowk, the EDs learnt about the reconstruction program that supported rebuilding of more than 430,000 houses after the devastating earthquakes.The Government of Nepal’s larger rural housing reconstruction program aims to provide earthquake-resistant housing for around 700,000 beneficiaries.
To further understand investment scenarios and discuss ways for diversifying investment, the EDs met entrepreneurs and private sector representatives.
The World Bank Group said it has a strong partnership with Nepal, with 50 years of engagement since 1969. The current investment portfolio cuts across all key sectors in 25 projects and has a net commitment of $2.47 billion (as of September 2019).