$106 mn ADB grant for Nepal’s local self-governance

October 23rd, 2008 - 2:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Oct 23 (Xinhua) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has pledged $106.3 million to help Nepal improve local self-governance and promote community development, the Himalayan Times reported Thursday. According to the daily, the aid will support the active engagement of communities in local governance, and improve resource management and dispensation of service.

Local government agencies are envisaged to play a key role in implementation of the much-needed project.

Nepal’s three-year interim plan (2008-2010) has laid emphasis on decentralization as the chief vehicle of good governance.

The ADB said the grant will support the government’s move. “Local bodies can be strengthened as it will prompt them to take several community initiatives. There is a greater focus on inclusive development as well,” said Gambhir Bhatta, a senior official of the bank’s South Asia department.

The $470 million decentralisation programme will seek to set up a mechanism to monitor local finances by incorporating gender equality and social inclusion indicators, administering safety nets and social assistance programmes to the underprivileged, budgeting grants to key sectors like education, health and agriculture.

A follow-up grant of $50 million for a three-year period from 2012-15 will focus on policy reforms, the ADB official said.

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