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Country Profiles photograph


DFID Nepal
British Embassy, PO Box 106, Lainchaur, Kathmandu, Nepal
Tel:+977 1 5542 987 | Fax:+977 1 542 979

Map courtesy of the FCO


Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in Asia with 31% of the population still living under the poverty line. The ongoing political instability has made it harder for reform initiatives to be effective

Country Facts:

  • Population: 25.2 million
  • Poverty (No. of people living below $1 a day): 7.75 million (31%)
  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per capita: $260
  • Life expectancy: 60.2 years
  • Literacy rates: 56% (of population age 15+), 70.5% (of net primary enrolment)
  • Malnutrition: 48% (of children under five)

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Political and economic situation

The country is going through a critical period in its history. The conflict has claimed more than 15,000 lives since 1996. The political developments of April 2006 have given a new hope of a return to multi-party democracy, but launching and sustaining an inclusive peace process and addressing the underlying causes of conflict remain the main challenges for Nepal today. The backdrop to the conflict is deep-seated poverty, poor governance and discrimination.

Poverty levels declined by 11% between 1996 and 2004, but the progress for different groups is uneven. This rate, for some excluded ethnic groups, is almost double than the national average. The poorest and hardest hit conflict regions have a poverty incidence almost 20% higher than that of the region surrounding the capital.

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DFID in Nepal

DFID’s Nepal County Assistance Plan (CAP) 2004 – 2008 is based on the four-pillar approach of the Nepalese Government’s poverty reduction strategy. DFID seeks to reduce poverty and social exclusion establishing the basis for lasting peace.

DFID carried out a fundamental review of its support in Nepal, following the coup led by the King in early 2005. One of the findings of this review was that there was no justification for increasing aid as planned in the CAP.

Our assistance to Nepal is 30 million in 2006/07. UK is the second largest bilateral donor to Nepal. We use both sector budget support and support through NGOs and the UN.

DFID produced its’ first annual report of its work in Nepal in 2005pdf(466 kb)

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Nepal and the  Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

Although there has been some progress on the MDGs, a great deal remains to be done. The deep rooted nature of social exclusion in Nepal makes it harder to achieve the MDGs. Well championed strategies to supplement national political commitment will be needed to tackle this.

Nepal is on track to meet four of the MDGs – Poverty and Hunger, Gender Equality, Child Mortality and Diseases (Tuberculosis).

Focused efforts from the government and donors have increased the number of girls in primary education.

Programmes such as immunisation and vitamin A have been successful in reducing child mortality rate by 7.9% per annum.

With 90% service coverage and 85% treatment success rate, the TB related deaths have been reduced to 5,000 annually from 16,000 in ten years.

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Last updated: 26 June 2006

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