Nepal became a Programme Country for Danish bilateral development assistance in 1989 against the background of an emerging democratisation process at the time and the widespread poverty. Nepal was - and still is - the poorest country in South Asia. Danish bilateral development assistance is focused on 15 programme countries. In "Commitment to Development", the Danish Government outlines its policy priorities for Danish development assistance in the period 2007-2011.
The Danish Embassy has its office in Kathmandu.And its programmes are implemented throughout Nepal.
Type of assistance and programming
Danish development assistance in Nepal is guided by Nepal's own development priorities and the principles laid out in the Danish development policy and strategy. Poverty reduction remains the overriding objective of the Danish engagement in Nepal. However, in recognition of the need for governance reforms and peace, added focus is placed on support to the development of a political environment that is conducive to a national-led poverty reduction effort. This approach entails increased focus on human rights and good governance, with special emphasis on initiatives aimed at a peaceful and sustainable solution to the conflict between the Government of Nepal and the Maoists. After the signing of a Peace Accord in November 2006, Nepal has all the possibilities for a lasting solution for peace. At the same time, Danish assistance will continue to contribute to poverty reduction through mainstreaming sector-programme activities. In June 2006 - in light of the reinstallation of democracy - the Danish Minister for Development Cooperation approved an Interim Strategy for Nepal. The interim strategy outlines a framework for Danish development assistance to Nepal in a situation in which a difficult peace process is being implemented, including the establishment of a constitutional assembly.
The overall medium-term strategic objectives of Danish engagement in Nepal are:
>to facilitate and promote the development of a democratic political environment, respect for human rights and rule of law, and a peaceful resolution of the armed conflict; and
>to contribute to poverty reduction through the improvement of service delivery targeting the poorest segments of the population.
The objectives are pursued through the following intermediate focal areas:
>Support to the democratic forces in Nepal;
>Assistance to the people of Nepal through both non-state and state actors, staying loyal to their mandate of providing services on an apolitical basis; and
>Support to efforts aimed at facilitating dialogue and increasing the incentives for peace.
Under the bilateral country frame the following programmes are currently under implementation:
>Education (primary and secondary) 2003-2009
>Human Rights and Good Governance 2003-2008
>Rural Energy 1999-2006 (a rural electrification component will continue to 2007)
>Rural Energy 2007-2012