26 NGOs set to make forays into NepalAs many as 26 Chinese non-government organisations are set to get permits for operation in Nepal within a couple of months with the Social Welfare Council and the China NGO Network for International Exchanges (CNIE) signing an agreement on Sunday.
As many as 26 Chinese non-government organisations are set to get permits for operation in Nepal within a couple of months with the Social Welfare Council and the China NGO Network for International Exchanges (CNIE) signing an agreement on Sunday.
A memorandum of understanding on promoting development cooperation was signed by SWC Member Secretary Dilli Prasad Bhatta and CNIE Secretary General Zhu Rui, paving the way for Chinese NGOs to function in Nepal. Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens and the Council Chairperson Tham Maya Thapa Magar and Wang Yajun, Vice Minister of the International Department of the Communist Party of China, witnessed the ceremony.
The new development comes at a time when the government and the I/NGOs are at loggerheads over the proposed National Integrity Policy (NIP), which envisages far-reaching measures for the management of international and domestic NGOs in Nepal.
According to the Council, the agreement would apply to more than 200 NGOs under the CNIE umbrella. SWC Deputy Director Durga Prasad Bhattarai told the Post that the current development follows a series of formal and informal negotiations between the two parties. The move from the northern neighbour was aimed at furthering public diplomacy in Nepal, he added.
The agreement is believed to create an environment for Chinese NGOs to work in Nepal. “The move follows Chinese belief that exercising public diplomacy through NGOs is more effective,” said Bhattarai. “Around 26 NGOs from China are likely to operate in the first leg. The number might increase gradually.”
As per the agreement, CNIE will extend support to mobilising Chinese NGOs in Nepal for the benefit of the people, abiding by Nepal’s laws. Chinese NGOs are interested to work in fields of agro-based livelihood, health care, education, disaster management and skill training, among others. As per the rule, INGOs willing to work in Nepal have to execute projects worth at least $200,000 a year.
The Council, on the other hand, will facilitate work permission, general agreement, project agreement, visa recommendation for Chinese expatriates and tax exemption recommendation once Chinese NGOs enter into Nepal’s legal framework in line with the prevailing laws and regulations.
Unlike several INGOs currently operational in the country, the Chinese organisations are said to adopt a growth-based development approach. According to Bhattarai, most of the INGOs in Nepal have adopted the rights-based approach to development.
“This means Chinese NGOs will focus on socio-economic growth through several approaches including vocational training,” he said, adding that a fusion of these two approaches after the forays of Chinese NGOs is expected to create synergy in the Nepal’s development sector.
At present, there are around 48,000 NGOs and 234 registered INGOs in the country, mobilising around $44 billion each year. Among them, there is only one Chinese NGO—China Foundation for Poverty Alleviation. 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.