It has been more than four decades since Denmark began assisting in the development of Nepal. The development cooperation that started with Danish support to Nepal's dairy sector has come a long way over the years covering, in the process, a number of diverse areas.
The Danish assistance mainly concerns such key areas as education, rural development and human rights. Major projects completed so far have been Education for All, Secondary Education Support Program, Kailali-Kanchanpur Rural Electrification, Revenue Administration
Support, Strengthening the Capacity of the National Human Right Commission of Nepal .
Along with the crucially useful support on issues of human rights and good governance, Danish projects have also aimed at bringing changes to the lives of many in the grassroots level by building communities, empowering citizens and alleviating poverty.
Denmark's contribution to Nepal's development efforts has also come in the form of technical assistance through expert advisors and scholarships.
As the cooperation began to grow by the year, Nepal became a partner country to Denmark in 1989. It features in the list of 20 priority countries for Danish programme cooperation.
The Danish cooperation assumed a new dimension in the post-conflict period of Nepal. After the Nepalese government reached a peace deal with the Maoist rebels to put end to the ten-year old bloody insurgency, Denmark played a significant role in helping the peace process succeed.
Post the comprehensive peace accord, Denmark has been a staunch supporter of democratic and inclusive values. Expressing its firm commitment to a better and stable Nepal, the Danish government agreed to provide a grant assistance of 600 million Danish Kroner (about Rs 10.8 billion) to the government of Nepal for the implementation of peace, rights and governance (PRGP) and inclusive growth programmes (UNNATI) last year.
A newly published book gives a glimpse of the role of Denmark in supporting human rights and good governance in Nepal during the past 15 years.
The publication entitled ‘Rights and Governance for Development’ also underlines the impact the Danish support has had on Nepal in the development process through a first-hand account of people associated with and benefitted by, Danish development agency's human rights and good governance arm-- DanidaHUGOU
As the book was launched at a function in Kathmandu on January 28, Danish Ambassador to Nepal Kirsten Geelan wished for a better and prosperous Nepal and assured that Denmark's engagement in Nepal will continue to be based on genuine cooperation and partnership.
“Over the years Danish support to Nepal has evolved from a project based approach to building strategic partnerships. We hope to strengthen that partnership in the days to come” she added.
Stressing on the national efforts to build Nepal, she said, “The future of the country should be decided by the people themselves and no one else.”
Chief Election Commissioner, Neel Kantha Uprety who only recently oversaw the second elections for the constituent assembly thanked the Danish government for the relentless support during the transition phase and in the elections for the constituent assembly. “All the Nepalese want to see the constitution making process completed on time and I wish no different”, he said.
According to him, the support from Denmark, along with other international partners, played a crucial role in making the elections a big success.