This is Swayne’s first visit to Nepal after assuming office on 15 July last year.
The focus of Swayne’s visit was to see DFID’s bilateral programmes and how the UK is supporting efforts to combat poverty and promote economic growth.
During his visit, Minister Swayne met the Minister of Finance to discuss the future of UK development support to Nepal, including how to build on the more than £100 million committed by the UK for the financial year 2015/16. UK is Nepal’s largest bilateral donor.
The DFID Nepal Head, Dr. Gail Marzetti, said that the Minister was able to see some UK aid funded programmes in action around Kathmandu and during a short field visit to Kaski and Syangja districts. The Minister saw at first-hand the skills programme that partner with the private sector to provide skills and employment opportunities, particularly for women and young people.
Swayne visited rural water and sanitation projects in Syangja that the UK has funded through the Gurkha Welfare Scheme, the Health Post at Pumdhi Bhumdhi to observe how services are delivered and met with female community health volunteers. He also visited a community near Pokhara to see a DFID funded Disaster Risk Reduction programme. These projects reflect the UK’s continued commitment to the Millennium Development Goals, as well as to post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals that deliver for the poor globally and in Nepal.
As the UK and Nepal approach 200 years of friendship, Nepal’s longest-standing partner is looking at how to support Nepal in its efforts to graduate from LDC status by 2022.