UNDP initiates livelihoods recovery programme for those hard-hit by COVID-19

Published On: June 9, 2020 08:45 PM NPT

KATHMANDU, June 9: The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in Nepal has initiated a livelihoods recovery programme to help the most vulnerable people cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the first phase of the programme, to be implemented jointly with the local governments, over 2,000 women and men – especially the poor, vulnerable and the most-affected daily wage earners and migrant workers – will get short-term employment though small-scale community and tourism infrastructure projects in 11 of the most affected municipalities in Sudur Paschim, Karnali, Gandaki and Bagmati.

According to a press statement issued by the UNDP Nepal, in addition to a daily wage, workers will be offered the opportunity to access skills training and technology support aimed at supporting the establishment of potentially up to 600 micro-enterprises to generate longer term livelihood opportunities in these areas. In Gandaki, workers will be engaged to clean up trekking trails and plant trees.

"The same programme will provide short-term employment opportunities through projects focusing on the rehabilitation, construction, or improvement of community infrastructure, such as irrigation canals, drinking water system, and rural roads," said the statement.  

Up to 23 such schemes are planned, which will be implemented under the leadership of user groups from these same communities. These schemes aim to provide short-term employment to over 1,200 hardest-hit people. 

These activities are part of UNDP’s socio-economic recovery response, which will be funded with US$1.5 million of UNDP’s own resources. Responding to a call from the government, UNDP is also repurposing previously launched projects toward the broader COVID response in consultation with national implementing partners. In some instances, local municipalities are expected to co-finance these projects, in the spirit of building on their ongoing partnership with UNDP, according to the statement. 

Some of the planned activities have begun in earnest, according to the statement. The Sadhikhola Virkuna irrigation project in Kakani Rural Municipality, Ward 6, started last week and is expected to engage up to 50 people, most of them farmers. The canal will irrigate 21 hectares of agricultural land (435 ropanies) directly benefiting 75 households. Similar projects have started at Palungtar Municipality in Gorkha, Melamchi Municipality and Helambu Rural Municipality in Sindhupalchowk and Jiri Municipality in Dolakha, each engaging over 300 people.


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