KOICA and UNFPA join hands to empower adolescent girls and young women in Nepal

Published On: June 14, 2024 04:40 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, June 14: The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Nepal and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Nepal signed an agreement for the project “Safe and enabling environment for adolescent girls and young women (SAFE-Girls) on Friday.

The agreement was signed by Jeong-eun Song, senior deputy country director of KOICA Nepal and Won Young Hong, UNFPA country representative for Nepal. For this project, the Government of the Republic of Korea through KOICA is contributing USD 6 million with an additional 10 percent (USD 626,503) from UNFPA.

This joint effort aims to provide a total of US$6.6 million to support adolescent teenagers and young women in Nepal over the next four years.  The project will be implemented by UNFPA partnering with local authorities in Lumbini, Madhesh and Sudurpaschim provinces, Ministry of Health and Population, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens in Nepal, according to a press statement issued by KOICA.

The main objective of this project is to provide gender-based violence response and strengthen preventive measures. The project will enhance digital technology that shall strengthen the monitoring and reporting systems related to gender-based violence and harmful practices, and comprehensive sexuality education by collecting real-time data on social behavior changes among adolescent girls, young women and community members through the safe space program, and increase digital skills of girls and women to be able to access to services and lead social.

In the ceremony, Jeong-eun Song, senior deputy country director of KOICA Nepal, stated that the initiative to empower adolescent girls and young women in Nepal stands as a beacon of hope in the fight against harmful practices and gender-based violence. By providing safe spaces, strengthening support systems, enhancing educational interventions, and embracing digital solutions, the project not only equips participants with the tools for self-advocacy and empowerment but also paves the way for a more inclusive and just society.

Similarly, Won Young Hong, UNFPA country representative for Nepal, said during the agreement signing ceremony that the partnership is a crucial addition to our efforts to accelerate the ICPD Agenda. “This partnership can be a catalyst for change on so many levels. It is crucial that we build on the strong results achieved by the government so far and we continue to have strong support from federal and local governments that realize the potential of adolescent girls and young women as change agents,” she said.

This comes after KOICA successfully implemented a similar project from 2016-2022 titled “Empowering Adolescent Girls and Young Women through the Provision of Comprehensive Sexuality Education and a Safe Learning Environment in Nepal”. That project was a flagship program announced by the Korean Government titled “Better Life for Girls”.

The ceremony also commemorated the 50 years of diplomatic ties between Nepal and Korea. Emphasizing that the event holds special significance as Korea and Nepal celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties and Korea would remain as the best partner of Nepal, continuously supporting Nepal. The event also stated that Nepal is a priority country for development cooperation and assured to further strengthen the cooperation and friendly ties between the two countries. 

The Korean government has been supporting Nepal through KOICA in various areas of health, vocational training, rural development and IT since 1991. By 2023, the total amount of KOICA's support surpassed two hundred million US Dollars. This comprehensive assistance encompasses 45 Country Partnership Projects, 114 Civil Society Organization (CSO) Projects, Capacity Enhancement Programs that have benefitted 2,211 participants and the World Friends Korea (WFK) program, which has dispatched 3,236 volunteers and specialists to Nepal. 

"Nepal's designation as a Core Partnership Country by the Government of the Republic of Korea for 15 consecutive years highlights the strong bilateral relationship and commitment to Nepal's development goals," the press statement read further.


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