The United Nations today released $8 million to help Nepal consolidate peace, improve policing, promote dialogue and reinforce national efforts to address the needs of those affected by conflict.
The South Asian country has been plagued by political disputes since the civil war between Government forces and Maoists formally ended in 2007 and the monarchy was abolished.
The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nepal, Robert Piper, noted that there have been important achievements in the peace process to date, including the completion of the discharge and integration process of the ex-Maoist army, the successful and largely peaceful elections in 2008, the removal of all minefields, and a smooth transition to a Republic.
However, Mr. Piper also noted the ongoing challenges, including the recently missed 27 May deadline for a new Constitution and the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly that followed.
“As we saw in late May, some of the most difficult and sensitive issues of the peace process are still ahead of Nepal. At this uncertain juncture, we will target these resources towards interventions that will help move the peacebuilding process forward,” said Mr. Piper. “The events of May also remind us of the need to think and act preventively to ensure we protect the important gains achieved to date.”
The funds will be administered by the local UN Peace Fund for Nepal which is overseen by the Government, the UN and donors.
UN Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support Judy Cheng-Hopkins noted that in addition to immediate funds for short-term issues, Nepal will also require investment for medium- and long-term initiatives to address the underlying causes of the conflict.
“We want to see our resources fund projects that will create momentum in support of the peace process in Nepal,” Ms. Cheng-Hopkins said.
Today’s allocation brings the total resources given to Nepal by the UN Peacebuilding Fund to almost $19 million. Nepal was declared eligible for funding from the Fund in December 2007.
The first funding allocation of $10 million was directed towards a range of activities relating to youth employment, conflict-affected children, mobile health camps, health services inside the cantonments and support to the discharge of minors from the Maoist army cantonments in early 2010.
The Fund is one pillar of the UN’s peacebuilding architecture, which also includes the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC), which was set up in 2005 to help struggling States avoid slipping back into war and chaos by providing strategic advice and harnessing expertise and financing from around the world to aid with recovery projects.