In April 2016, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) signed an agreement with NGOs to provide five new development projects in Nepal, totaling $121 million in aid. Here is an overview of those projects:
Suaahara II – $63 million
This five-year (2016-2021) program is “dedicated to improving the health and nutrition status of women and children”. It will build on existing improvements in maternal, infant and young child nutrition practices through various mediums such as activities, media programs and mobile technology. This program aims to reduce stunting produced by malnutrition during critical developmental stages (conception to 24 months) and improve maternal and child health services. In addition, the integrated strategies will work with government development projects in Nepal to expand services for adolescents and social attitudes towards delayed marriages and family planning.
Feed the Future Seed and Fertilizer Project- $15 million
This five-year project will bring targeted aid to promote sustainable increases in crop productivity in the agricultural sector and provide food security to common Nepalese families. The program plans to achieve this using improved seeds and “Integrated Soil Fertility Management technologies.” It hopes to equip local farmers and national partners with the technology and information needed to sustain and grow crop productivity.
Sustainable, Just and Productive Water Resources Development in Western Nepal – $2.5 million
This three-year project was created to promote sustainable water resource development in an area particularly vulnerable to climate change. It hopes to provide accurate information and base knowledge for policymakers and companies to use in their decision making regarding water ecosystems. They will focus their efforts in the Karnali and Mahakali river basins of Nepal.
Civil Society: Mutual Accountability Project – $15 million
This five-year program aims to “foster a more legitimate, accountable, and resilient Nepali civil society” through effective policy advocacy, media use and government engagement. The program will incorporate gender equality as a common thread throughout all project activities.
Programme for Aquatic Natural Resources Improvement – $25 million
Lastly, this five-year program’s goals include reducing threats to Nepalese biodiversity and increase human and ecological resilience to climate change through improved water management. It will provide critical support to areas strained by overuse, increased populations and climate change. This program hopes to incentivize water conservation engagement at all levels of society, from fisherman to politicians, through political engagements, informational activities, and academic research.
According to Ambassador Alaina B. Teplitz, these USAID-funded development projects in Nepal “address both the continuing needs of the Nepali people post-earthquake, and at the same time build sustainable communities that support Nepal’s long-term development goals.”
– Belén Loza