Chinese organisations silent after deal to make forays into NepalThree months after the China NGO Network for International Exchanges agreed with the Social Welfare Council to facilitate Chinese NGOs’ inroads into Nepal, the CNNIE has not communicated the developments to the Nepali regulator.
Three months after the China NGO Network for International Exchanges agreed with the Social Welfare Council to facilitate Chinese NGOs’ inroads into Nepal, the CNNIE has not communicated the developments to the Nepali regulator.
The two parties signed a memorandum of understanding in the last week of July to exchange cooperation, engaging at least 26 Chinese non-government organisations in Nepal within a couple of months.
Officials at the council said the Chinese side had assured that the NGOs willing to operate in Nepal would start seeking individual approvals after a month. The CNNIE has more than 200 NGOs affiliated to it. Not a single agency has approached the SWC so far.
“There’s no communication from them yet,” Durga Prasad Bhattarai, a deputy director at the SWC, told the Post. “Going by their gesture, we were expecting quick progress.”
The planned foray of NGOs from the northern neighbour was aimed at furthering public diplomacy in Nepal. “We’ll wait for a couple of weeks before initiating a query through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as well as the Chinese Embassy in Nepal,” Bhattarai said. He added that the SWC had pledged measures for facilitating the organisations’ operation in Nepal.
The council had promised to facilitate the process to acquire the operating licence, and to secure general and project agreements, while recommending visas for Chinese nationals, in line with the prevailing laws.The approach of Beijing was keenly watched as Nepal, which has around 48,000 NGOs and 234 registered INGOs mobilising $44 billion worth of resources every year, has only one Chinese development agency—China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation—in operation.
This firm got into Nepal to carry out post-earthquake rehabilitation works in 2015 and has mobilised resources worth around $1.82 million so far. Nepal’s laws require INGOs to execute projects worth at least $200,000 a year.
As per the agreement between the SWC and the CNNIE, a majority of Chinese NGOs are interested to work in the fields of agro-based livelihood, health care, education, disaster management and skill training, among others.
The foray of Chinese NGOs was also expected to change the country’s development approach at a time when most of the International NGOs follow a rights-based approach. The Chinese NGOs, however, are learnt to be eyeing growth-based development.
The Chinese Embassy in Kathmandu did not respond to the Post’s queries on Sunday.