Nepal and Japan share a long history of friendship. After the two countries established diplomatic relations in 1956, Government of Japan extended various assistance to Nepal in which JICA has been acting as an implementing agency of Official development Assistance (ODA) of Japan.
The distinctive feature of JICA’s assistance towards Nepal is its wide coverage ranging from transport, energy, water and sanitation, to education, health, peace building, governance and agriculture aiming to support Nepal’s development in a comprehensive manner. Another feature of JICA is its various schemes such as loan financing, grant assistance, technical cooperation and volunteer program. In particular, Japanese experts and volunteers helped a lot in promoting friendship and trust among people by working closely with Nepalese counterparts at the grassroots level. Training program also contributed greatly in strengthening mutual understanding between people of both countries.
JICA is aiming to achieve the sustainable and balanced economic growth along with the consolidation of peace and steady transition to a democratic state. Similarly, Infrastructure and institutional development for sustainable economic growth and rural poverty reduction are the priority areas of JICA in Nepal. Early and strong recovery and reconstruction from the disaster brought by the great earthquake struck in Nepal on April 25, 2015 is the most urgent area where JICA is extending its support based on the Build Back Better (BBB) concept. JICA also wants to be a part of paths towards lasting peace and democracy which is indicated by promulgation of Nepal's new constitution.
Transport Infrastructure Development
Roads play vital role in the overall integration of Nepal from alleviating poverty, promoting balanced regional development to stimulating decentralization process. Road infrastructure supports the economic growth, and through the redistribution of wealth, it also helps sustain the continued improvement of the quality of life. The major share of the operational road consists of the Strategic Road Network which has around 14,000 km of network. As per the unconfirmed figure from the DOLIDAR, there are around 60,000 km. of rural roads out of which majority is not operational.
JICA has been assisting the transport sector in Nepal through Development Study, Grant Aid and Technical Cooperation. JICA’s past cooperation like Sindhuli Road and improvement of Kathmandu-Bhaktapur Road has not only opened a reliable alternative link to Kathmandu but also contributed for better urban rural linkages and promoted trade link with the neighboring countries. To satisfy the ever growing need for new road transport infrastructures, JICA is also planning to support by ODA Loan projects.
JICA’s overall goal of transport sector is economic vitalization through the improvement/upgrading of transportation network and facilitation of smooth traffic. JICA puts the highest priority on the improvement of road infrastructure and its operation within Kathmandu Valley and the Strategic Road Networks linking Kathmandu Valley with the other areas. Similarly, JICA will also support for introducing new technologies like road tunnels, flyovers, etc. as there are needs to diversify and modernize the road transport.
Strengthening the air transport infrastructure has been one of the biggest issues. However, the airport facilitation services at Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) are below the international standard and need upgrading. Most of the domestic airports lack basic facilities like adequate length of runway, paved runway, navigation and surveillance facilities. Securing safe and reliable traffic control service has always been priority of JICA.
Power Generation, Transmission and Capacity Improvement
Nepal has been facing long hours of load shedding caused by shortage of electricity. JICA targets to achieve the stable power supply year round through the improvement of facility and capacity building by supporting construction of medium sized storage type hydropower plants with the capacity of 100 to 300 MW.
JICA has conducted projects for power generation as well as transmission and distribution such as the Kulekhani projects (I and II), the Kaligandaki “A” Project and the Project for extension and reinforcement of transmission and distribution system in Kathmandu valley.
JICA also has developed the master plan for prospective hydropower plant projects by conducting Nationwide Master Plan Study on Storage Type Hydro-electric Projects in 2014.
Ongoing Tanahu Hydropower project will generate 140MW electricity and contribute to an increase of the power supply.
Power supply is critical not only for household consumption but also for industrialization and overall enhancement of productivity in order to improve the socio-economic condition in Nepal.
Construction of electric power facilities needs to be promoted to reduce gap between power demand and supply. Furthermore, development of storage type hydropower plants is necessary for mitigating the seasonal flux of power generation and improving stable power supply.
Improvement of transmission and distribution is also important so that households and industrial sector can enjoy electricity.
JICA tries to continuously extend our support to achieve the stable power supply in Nepal.
Urban Environment Development Program
This sector includes financial and technical support for water supply improvement in various urban, semi urban and rural areas of Nepal. In Large Towns like Pokhara, second biggest city after Kathmandu, JICA has started activities to commence project for improvement of water supply facilities by constructing Water treatment Plants as well as distribution network under Japanese Grant Assistance. In Small Towns or semi urban areas JICA is conducting expansion of technical cooperation project for improvement of water supply management improvement project (WASMIPII).In addition, JICA provides policy support to the government through expert’s assistance. Further, JICA supports other environment and climate change related activities. The Project for Introduction of Clean Energy by Solar Electricity Generation System was first and model project constructed under Japan’s special Grant Aid for Environment and Climate change. Similarly, The Project on Clean Kathmandu Valley is considered as milestone project on Solid Waste Management sector.
Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is another key component of the program. The Gorkha Earthquake 2015 revealed the fact which affected almost 1/3 of the population and incurred losses of almost 1/3 of the GDP leaving nearly 9,000 fatalities and over 500,000 homes destroyed. JICA extended technical cooperation to conduct earthquake risk assessment of the Kathmandu Valley in 2002, which helped to raise awareness, strengthen policy and institutional arrangement and implement DRR programs. Currently, the technical cooperation has again been extended to conduct the earthquake risk assessment of the Kathmandu Valley to account the drastically changed demographic and urban environment and has now started updating the study with advanced scientific analysis. The result of this study is expected to be utilized for the formulation of municipal level disaster management plans as well as emergency response plan of municipalities in the Valley.
JICA has been providing support private sector development through its training window by sending the government officials to participate in group trainings in Japan. JICA has been contributing substantially in developing the economic infrastructures such as roads, electricity, etc. for a long time. With the aim of capitalizing the investments made in infrastructures development for the country’s economic growth, private sector development program has also been included in JICA’s country assistance strategy since 2012. It aims to improve the business environment for local enterprises in secondary and tertiary industries, as well as the promotion of direct inward investment, through (small and medium sized) enterprises development, deregulation, improvements in industrial relations, streamlining procedures of customs, and human resource development for industries.
Currently, JICA has been supporting Investment Board of Nepal to strengthen services for investors by fielding foreign investment advisor and carrying out capacity building activities. Similarly, the volunteers’ program is supporting small and cottage industry agencies and federation of the computer association of Nepal. Moreover, various training programs have been given continuity with increasing number of training courses.
JICA has always given priority to the disaster management. JICA accelerated its assistance after April 25th earthquake. JICA has mobilized the financial resources for reconstruction of the school building, housing and other infrastructures affected by the earthquake with Build Back Better (BBB) concept and manners.
Grant assistance has been provided to follow up emergency rehabilitation of school worth 2 million USD. In the same sector, loan assistance worth 115 million USD has been provided to emergency school reconstruction project. In the housing sector, JICA has assisted 96 million USD for emergency housing reconstruction project. In the infrastructure and public facilities, JICA immediately rehabilitated some sections of Kathmandu-Bhaktapur Road and Sindhuli Road that were partially damaged by earthquake. Similarly, JICA is also reconstructing Bir Hospital & Paropakar Maternity and Women’s Hospial (Kathmandu) and constructing bridges between Barakilo-Barpakroad (Gorkha) and rehabilitating water supply pipeline for Chautara Municipality (Sindhupalchowk).
Other Technical Assistance Programs includes compiling resilient plan for Kathmandu valley and district rehabilitation and recovery plan for Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk. In addition, JICA provides hazard map and livelihood supports in Gorkha and Sindhupalchowk.
Democratization and Peace Support
JICA supports Nepal's democratization and peace-building process with a focus on strengthening democratic institutions, central and local governance and community empowerment for sustainable peace.
Democratic institutions need to be accountable and dependable to generate stability in people’s lives. Building strong democratic institutions in post-conflict environment can be a challenge but an effective way to prevent recurrence of war. Democratization normally involves diverse opinions and perspectives, which can be conflicting, therefore, establishing institutions such as parliamentary system, electoral system, and justice system is essential for conflict management. JICA provides support to the democratization process through various forms of dialogues and capacity development for democratic systems and institutions for stable society, a basis for development and growth.
For instance, JICA has created a space for dialogue on economic growth and sustainable development among and with policy makers, academia and local population through the activities of “Nepal State Building: Growth and Development Strategy Phase II”. The Project for Strengthening the Capacity of Court for Expeditious and Reliable Dispute Settlement (SCC Project) has been implemented with the Supreme Court to enhance the capacity of case management and mediation in courts and improve the courts’ function for better access to justice. In legal sector, JICA has also assisted the drafting and enacting process of the Civil Code providing technical input and facilitating dialogues among stakeholders since 2009. Based on good practice and experience in the previous project, Strengthening Community Mediation Capacity for Peaceful and Harmonious Society Project Phase II (COMCAP2) has supported the MoFALD’s initiative to expand community mediation activities as local dispute resolution mechanism nationwide.
Agriculture and Rural Development
JICA’s cooperation started with Janakpur Agriculture Development Project (JADP) in 1971. The main focus of the Project was to improve the livelihood of the people by disseminating improved cereal crop varieties with appropriate farming techniques. In order to realize this objective, comprehensive support was extended over a decade. This included installation of tube wells, irrigation canals, and access roads, as well as promotion of farm mechanization and land consolidation.
After completion of JADP in 1984, JICA’s support was diversified to the area of horticulture to meet the growing demands of high value crops. In addition to the introduction of Japanese fruits such as persimmon and pear, JICA’s symbolic support to the Nepali citrus, Junar, was also implemented during this period.
JICA’s approach to promote high value crops has been maintained until today, now with increased attention to the effective utilization of value chain. Target areas have been selected in the Central Region of Nepal to bring synergy effects with the Sindhuli Road constructed through JICA’s support, which was completed in 2015. Sindhuli Road Corridor Commercial Agriculture project aims to increase the income of each farm households in the Sindhuli Road Corridor through agricultural commercialization.
Active participation of JICA Volunteers - Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) and Senior Volunteers (SV) - has also promoted the extension of agricultural skills in grass-roots level. The volunteers’ supporting area has been widened over the years from basic agricultural extension activities to creative initiatives such as the One Village One Product movements. Japanese NGOs have also been active partners with JICA in this sector.
Education For All
The current and future programs of JICA are designed in line with the framework of EFA aiming to contribute towards achieving the goals of School Sector Reform Program (SSRP: 2009-2016) and School Sector Development Plan (SSDP: 2016-). Among the strategies of SSRP by Government of Nepal (GoN), JICA’s assistance has given priority to capacity development and improvement of school management both central and local level. Providing equitable access for each child to school is an essential and basic requirement to achieve the goal. Under Japan’s Grant Aid, JICA has already provided assistance to build more than 9500 classrooms in different part of the country since 1994.
Moreover, to address the urgent needs related to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of schools after the earthquakes on April 25th and May 12th, 2015, JICA has been supporting emergency projects with the concept of "Build Back Better".
ASSISTANCEJICA's overall objective in this sector is to improve people’s health condition not only by supporting at national level, but also by empowering people in community level to improve the health status of people.
JICA's assistance to construction of Tribhuvan University Teaching Hospital (TUTH) is remarkable, which has benefitted general public to reach better health facilities. Besides the construction of TUTH, a Nursing College in Maharajgunj under Tribhuvan University is one of the biggest and the top Nursing College in Nepal. Through the medical education projects (1990-1994), TUTH has also been developed as a medical educational facility. It contributed to improve the medical and nursing and other paramedical education level and currently many overseas students from South Asian countries and European countries come to study at the institute of medicine in TUTH. In context of technical assistance, JICA provided a number of technical assistance through individual experts and Technical Cooperation Projects (TCPs). Some of the examples are assisting physicians in TUTH to give an opportunity to study or to be trained in Japan, Primary Health Care Project, School Health and Nutrition Project (SHNP), Project for National Tuberculosis Center.
Aiming to improve the quality and quantity of medical services and education by the TU Teaching Hospital, JICA is going to support of medical equipment to TUTH in 2016.
Contribution by JICA volunteers is also one of the essential parts of improving community health. As an example, a JICA’s senior volunteer (SV), worked with Nepal Nursing Council, supported introduction of national nursing examination for licensing. The first Nepal nursing national examination for licensing was held in 2012. Besides, JICA has also supported to dispatch SVs as co-medical staff who specialized with biomedical engineering at the government hospital.
In order to address the urgent needs related to the reconstruction and rehabilitation of health facilities after the earthquakes on April 25th and May 12th, 2015, JICA committed to support reconstruction of hospitals in affected area. The target hospitals include Paropakar Maternity and Womens' hospital, Bir hospital's ICU unit and Amppipal hospital in Gorkha