The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) launched a new two-and-a-half year, $474,051 conflict management and mitigation project called ‘Conflict Mitigation Through Community Mediation.’ The project will operate in six central and eastern Terai districts of Nepal –Dhanusha, Mahotari, Sarlahi, Rautahat, Saptari, and Siraha– and aims to decrease local level conflicts that stem from issues of inclusion or access to resources.
According to a press release issued by Public Affairs Section of Embassy of The United States, marginalized groups including women, youth, indigenous ethnic groups like Madhesis and Tharus, minority religious and low caste groups still experience discrimination and social exclusion within community decision-making processes in Nepal. This can result in unresolved conflicts, ranging from access over development planning resources and conflict over land, to caste based discrimination, and high incidences of gender based violence.
“The Conflict Mitigation Through Community Mediation project, with community mediation and advocacy tools, along with a broader awareness about these issues, will empower community members and local government to prevent, mitigate, and manage conflicts and dissatisfaction. The project will help maintain local stability and contribute to a more peaceful, equitable society,” remarked Ms. Sheila Lutjens, Acting Director of USAID Nepal. These projects will complement USAID’s governance, health, agriculture, environment, and education activities.
The project will be implemented by Mandwi, a Nepali non-governmental organization, in partnership with six local organizations in the target districts.