Government plans to create a bank of ‘game-changer’ projectsThe Social Welfare Council aims to attract funds from national and international organisations.
Prithvi Man Shrestha
The Social Welfare Council has decided to create a bank of ‘game-changer’ projects and attract funding from domestic and international non-government organisations to implement them.
A board meeting of the council on Wednesday endorsed the ‘Game-changer Project Policy’, which aims to attract funds in specific projects with the potential to make a huge socio-economic impact.
“Until now, we have been approving the project proposals of NGOs and INGOs,” Durga Prasad Bhattarai, the council’s information officer, told the Post. “We will now propose game-changer projects and seek investments for them.”
The council has not yet decided how many projects will be incorporated into the proposed bank. But Bhattarai said that the council aims to bring several projects with a combined budget of Rs40 billion for five years.
According to the council, the bank would have several game-changer projects related to poverty alleviation, basic education, basic health, women empowerment and abolition of child labour.
The projects related to poverty alleviation are expected to increase the income of nearly 200,000 households by Rs10,000 per month per person in five years.
“Another target is to increase the income of households having a monthly income below Rs10,000 per month to Rs25,000 per month,” said Bhattarai.
For basic education-related projects, the council has set the target of providing access to secondary education for 500,000 poor people.
“The implementation of the game-changer projects related to basic education is expected to ensure enrolment, retention and quality education,” said Bhattarai.
He said that there would also be activities related to livelihood to support the game-changer projects related to education.
The projects related to health would focus on providing basic health services to mothers and children for up to two years. These projects, according to Bhattarai, are expected to provide health services to 500,000 people in five years.
The projects on women’s empowerment will have three major components—ending Chhaupratha, a practice in which menstruating girls and women are banished to sheds outside their homes; minimising gender-based violence; and combating human trafficking.
“The concerned projects will have a target of removing the Chhaupratha from 1,000 households and saving 500,000 women and girls from gender-based violence and human trafficking,” said Bhattarai.
There will also be projects to eradicate child labour in 35 municipalities, according to Bhattarai.
“These projects will basically be for NGOs and INGOs running new plans. But they can also modify their existing programmes to support the projects under the bank,” Bhattarai said.
The council plans to hold a meeting with the National Planning Commission and NGOs and INGOs regarding its decision.
Achyut Luitel, chairperson of the Association of International NGOs in Nepal, an informal network of INGOs working in Nepal, told the Post that officials from the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens had once floated the idea of creating a fund for ‘game-changer projects’ from NGO and INGO sectors, but detailed discussions have yet to take place.
“Although the idea itself is not bad. It could be difficult for many INGOs because they collect funds from donors by showing their own planned programmes,” Luitel told the Post. “They cannot go beyond their commitments to their donors.”