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Development assistance in Nepal

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Expanding economic opportunities for the poor by promoting enterprise and job-creation in Nepal

Expanding economic opportunities for the poor by promoting enterprise and job-creation in Nepal


While Nepal has made progress in reducing poverty rates over the past twenty years, the country remains one of the poorest in South Asia and is among the poorest in the world. In 2016, Nepal ranked 144 out of 187 countries on the UN Human Development Index, falling into the lowest category of human development. Poverty in Nepal is complex and multidimensional and although Nepal has experienced a broad-based recovery since the 2015 earthquakes, challenges remain. Even though GDP grew by 7.5 per cent in 2017, a significant proportion of the population are either at risk of falling back into poverty or are struggling to consolidate their economic gains.

Income generation and employment are key to reducing poverty. Employment within Nepal is largely informal and overwhelmingly male-dominated, with an estimated 6 per cent of women engaged in formal employment. Supporting domestic job creation, especially for women, is central to ensuring long term and inclusive economic growth.

Related initiatives

Micro-enterprise Development Program (MEDEP)

$32.3 million, 2013-2018

The Micro-Enterprise Development Program (MEDEP) is a key initiative of Australia's aid program to Nepal and is implemented by the United Nations Development Program and the Government of Nepal. The program trains the poor and the ultra-poor to become entrepreneurs and assists them in establishing and developing their own businesses. As well as training, the program provides business development services and access to markets, finance and technologies. To date, the program has created more than 84,800 micro-entrepreneurs and over 154,000 jobs, with around 70 per cent of beneficiaries being women.

Related documents*

Name of document Year published Type
MEDEP Independent Evaluation 2012 Evaluation
MEDEP Independent Evaluation: management response 2012 Management response
MEDEP Programme document 2013 Programme document
MEDEP-GESI Impact Study Report- Synopsis 2014 Study Report - Synopsis
MEDPA Effectives Study Report 2014 Study Report
MEDEP Phase IV Mid-term Evaluation 2016 Evaluation
Anthology of 108 Successful Micro Entrepreneurs in Nepal 2018 Anthology
MEDEP Lessons Learnt Documentation 2018 Documentation
MEDEP-MEDPA Economic Analysis Report 2018 Analysis Report

Related links

* The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) is committed to high standards of transparency and accountability in the management of the Australian aid program through publishing information on our website, including policies, plans, results, evaluations and research. Our practice is to publish documents after the partner government and any other partners directly involved in the delivery of the initiative have been consulted. Not all material published on this site is created by the Australian aid program and therefore not all documents reflect our views. In limited circumstances some information may be withheld for reasons including privacy and commercial sensitivity.

Last Updated: 29 November 2018
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