Japan's Official Development Assistance White Paper 2005

Main Text > Part II ODA DISBURSEMENTS IN FISCAL YEAR 2004 > Chapter 2 Details and New Policies about Japan's ODA: Striving for Further ODA Reforms > Section 4. Operational Status of the Principle of ODA Implementation > 1. Nepal

1. Nepal

Nepal shifted to constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy in 1990, moving towards democratization. However, with the inception of an armed Maoist movement in 1996 engaging in terrorist activities and calling for the total abolition of the monarchy and the establishment of a communist state, the domestic situation up to the present has been unstable. Nepal is a least developed country ( LDC ) with the lowest income levels in the South Asian region and, as such, faces issues like poverty and social disparity. In this context, Japan, as Nepal's largest ODA provider, has extended its assistance, focusing on regional development through improvements in the social sector and agriculture, which are priority issues of development.

On 1 February 2005, King Gyanendra dismissed the Cabinet of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and took measures, such as the apprehension and house arrest of political figures and restrictions on media organizations, that limited basic human rights and freedoms guaranteed under the constitution. In response, the Government of Japan took various opportunities to call strongly on the Government of Nepal to improve the situation for human rights in the country from the perspective of the importance of restoring basic human rights and freedoms. Given the circumstances where these rights and freedoms have been curtailed in Nepal, Japan will give careful consideration to economic cooperation based on the assessment of trends in the status of human rights in the country.

With a view to contributing to alleviating poverty and social disparities which are at the root of the Maoist insurgency, Japan provided its ODA to Nepal after February 2005 to increase food production (contributing funds for the purchase of fertilizers) and also provided food aid (contributing funds for the purchase of rice). When making such contributions, Japan continues to call on the Government of Nepal to improve the condition of human rights in the country.