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Aiming to improve the quality of life and manage the population

In Nepal, UNFPA has played a critical role in mobilising financial resources for population and reproductive health programmes. UNFPA assists His Majesty’s Government of Nepal, NGOs, and local communities to build up national capacity in the management of population issues. In Nepal, UNFPA specifically aims to contribute to the reduction of poverty and to the improvement of the quality of life of the people by:

  • Improving reproductive health of all couples and individuals

  • Ensuring a balance between population dynamics and socio-economic development,

  • Enhancing gender equity, equality, and women’s empowerment.

Coordinating with Government Policies, Strategies and Programmes and with Other Donors
UNFPA supports the role of the Government of Nepal to coordinate national and international assistance to the population and reproductive health sectors. As the health and other development programme, move towards decentralised implementation, UNFPA assists in the identification of specific niches in these sectors for donor assistance and builds synergy with other sources of funding.

The Government and its development partners are committed to reducing poverty and helping the country achieve the Millennium Development Goals. This commitment is evident in HMG’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, Fiscal Framework, and Local Self Governance Act; as well as in the United Nations Development Assistance Framework.


Nepal has an estimated gross domestic product of $220 per person. The country, which already faces environmental problems due to increasing population, high levels of poverty, and dependence on subsistence agriculture, is now facing another challenge: HIV/AIDS.

During the last 40 years, the population of Nepal has more than doubled, increasing from 9.4 million in 1960 to 23.2 million in 2001. Nepal’s population will grow for a considerable time to come, because approximately 42 % of the population are below 15 years of age, and 47 % of the total female population are in the reproductive ages of 15 to 49. Both of these factors will contribute to Nepal’s population growth even if the fertility declines rapidly.

Population growth is seriously inhibiting development. The government population policy seeks to bring about a balance between the population, socio-economic development, and the environment.


UNFPA in Nepal for Thirty Years
Assistance through four programme cycles

UNFPA began assisting Nepal’s population programme in 1970. By 2001, UNFPA had provided $71.8 million dollars through four programme cycles.

The first formal Country Programme (1980-87) supported family planning, maternal and child health, population education, expansion of the population database, development of a National Plan of Action for Women in Development, and the promotion of women’s participation in agricultural extension programmes. The Second Country Programme (1988-92) built further on the support provided under the first Country Progarmme.

UNFPA’s Third Country Programme (1992-96) was instrumental in:

  • strengthening population policy and research,

  • initiating the decentralisation of Information-Education-Communication activities,

  • integrating population education in the school curriculum

  • ensuring increased availability and quality of reproductive health and family planning services through primary health care outreach programmes by strengthening the training of health workers and volunteers

  • developing an integrated Health Management Information System (HMIS)

  • expanding the national network of health training facilities.

UNFPA played a major role in the collection, analysis, and dissemination of national data by supporting the 1981 and 1991 censuses, and the 1986 and 1990 National Fertility Health Surveys. Under the Third Country Programme, Regional Field Offices were established to support programme implementation at the district and community levels.

The Fourth Country Programme of assistance to Nepal (1997-2001) supported a systematic approach to strengthening management including performance reviews, planning, monitoring, and evaluation within the Department of Health Services. The system has worked reasonably well at the central level, and to a large extent has been institutionalised with the DoHS at the district and community levels.

The Fourth CP contributed to increasing the availability of comprehensive RH services by: • Development of a National RH Strategy

  • Institutionalisation of Contraceptive forecastingDistribution of Emergency Obstetric Care kitsIncreased involvement of women and local communities in RH

  • Construction of RH Service Facilities

  • Development and dissemination of IEC materials

  • Establishment of LAN in DoHS/MoH

  • Construction of District Level Training Facilities

It contributed to improvements in the quality of RH services through:

  • Development and dissemination of RH Management guidelines (3 levels) and RH Service protocols (7 levels)

  • Development of RH Research Strategy

  • Development of Adolescent RH Strategy

  • Institutionalisation of PME through district, regional and national reviews

  • Institutionalisation of HMIS through production, distribution and utilization of bottom-up planning

  • Studies on Maternal Mortality, Integration of FP, EPI services, Male Involvement and Adolescent RH.

The Fourth CP contributed several achievements to the Population and Under the Population and Development Strategies Sub-programme the following activities were carried out:

  • Training staff of sectoral ministries and District Development Committees on the incorporation of population into development planning

  • Institutionalisation of Population Education at lower secondary and secondary levels

  • Establishment of coordination mechanism for national population

  • Mobilization of national NGO for action research for women, health, education and local resources

  • Technical support for to the national census on gender desegregated data, conduct of census and release of preliminary results.

The Fifth Country Programme:

Under the current Fifth Country Programme (2002-2006), UNFPA strives to contribute to a higher quality of life for the Nepalese people through improved reproductive health and promoting a balance between population dynamics and socio-economic development. Advocacy, HIV/AIDS and gender are cross-cutting issues reflected in all activities.


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