UNCDF has been present in Nepal since 1984, strengthening local service delivery and expanding access to financial services for the poor through various financial inclusion and local development programmes.
Today, UNCDF offers “last mile” finance models that unlock public and private resources, especially at the domestic level, to reduce poverty and support local economic development.
Through Financial Inclusion Practice, the Access to Finance (A2F) project in Nepal encourages financial service providers to serve the agricultural value chain actors more effectively with appropriate financial products. Making Access Possible (MAP) supports financial inclusion through evidence-based country diagnostics and stakeholder dialogue, which lead to the development of national financial inclusion roadmap identifying key drivers of financial inclusion and recommended action.
In Nepal, the objective of Mobile Money for the Poor (MM4P) engagement is to move Nepal from the early start-up phase firmly into the expansion phase, with a target of adding at least 1,000,000 financial service customers via branchless and mobile technologies. Additionally, CleanStart in Nepal aims to lift people out of energy poverty through access to sustainable financial services that provide energy financing solutions, and benefit more than 150,000 low-income households and micro-entrepreneurs (600,000 beneficiaries) in 2017.
The Government of Nepal has formally joined the Better Than Cash Alliance (BTCA) which is an alliance of governments, private sector and development organizations committed to accelerating the shift from cash to electronic payments. UNCDF supports the Ministry of Finance in Nepal shift from cash to electronic payments.
Through Local Development Finance Practice, the Local Governance and Community Development Programme (LGCDP) Phase II, the Government’s national flagship decentralization programme in Nepal, brings quality basic services to all while ensuring the accountable delivery of local services through established institutions and systems.
UNCDF has also rolled out the Local Climate Adaptive Living Facility (LoCAL) pilot in six Village Development Committees in two districts, helping local governments channel global climate adaptation financing to the local level, to cope with the increased cost of building resilience against climate change and natural disasters.
In Nepal, rapid urbanization has incentivized UNCDF to pilot its Municipal Investment Finance (MIF) programme and to develop financing instruments that diversify and aggregate municipalities’ financial base.