Global Gateway: European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen to visit Nepal

Nutrition, education, green recovery, inclusive green growth, human capital development and good governance to be priority agenda during her visit that will take place on February 8.

NL Today

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Kathmandu: European Commissioner for International Partnerships Jutta Urpilainen will arrive in Nepal on February 8 for an official one-day visit to meet Nepali leaders and launch several EU actions in the country.

Commissioner Urpilainen said, “I am delighted to be visiting Nepal to strengthen our partnership and engage on matters of common geopolitical interest, not least Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, which had disastrous consequences on food security in the world, including in Nepal.” “I look forward to present our Global Gateway strategy, the EU’s positive offer to partners to boost smart, clean and secure links in digital, energy and transport sectors and to strengthen health, education and research systems across the world.”

Commissioner Urpilainen’s visit comes at an important moment as Nepal is preparing to graduate from Least Developed Country (LDC) status in 2026, thus reaffirming the European Union’s strong and unwavering engagement with Nepal, including through the recent launch of the Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for Nepal for 2021-2027.

Through the MIP, the European Union will contribute to Nepal’s green, resilient and inclusive development (GRID) effort to overcome the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, as requested by the government of Nepal. Action will focus on three priority areas.

First priority area will be inclusive green growthto support efforts at local level to achieve a green economy, green jobs and sustainable growth in Nepal.  The second priority will be human capital developmentin sectors matching government priorities for climate-resilient development, especially in the field of Education and nutrition, while giving adequate attention to regional disparities and human development indices. Good governance will be the third priority. The EU and its Member States have been long-term supporters of good governance, the democratic transition from conflict to peace, institutions and civil society in Nepal.

Commissioner Urpilainen will visit the Human Milk Bank at the Paropakar Maternity and Women’s hospital, and renew the EU’s commitment to the Multi-Sector Nutrition Programme of the Government (supported by the EU, Germany and UNICEF) with Mr Padam Giri, Minister for Health and Population. This program will continue improving maternal, adolescent, and child nutrition throughout Nepal.

Commissioner Urpilainen will hold bilateral discussions with Prime Minister Dahal and new Foreign Minister Bimala Rai Paudyal and launch a €50 million EU support to Nepal’s new education sector plan with Education Minister Shishir Khanal. This marks 20 years of EU support to increase access to education for boys and girls and a new era to increase the quality of education in Nepal.

Commissioner Urpilainen will also meet with civil society organisations, members of the business community and representatives of the International Financial Institutions. She will also meet with members of the EU Youth Sounding Board, a consultative space for Nepali youth to have an influence on the EU’s action in Nepal, making it more relevant and effective for them.

Finally, Commissioner Urpilainen will launch the Team Europe Initiative on Green Recovery with the ambassadors of the EU Member States resident in Nepal (France, Finland and Germany), government representatives, development partners, and private sector and civil society representatives.

The Team Europe Initiative (TEI) on Green Recovery will support Nepal’s efforts to recover from the pandemic and grow stronger and greener through more jobs, energy access, increased resilience of society to shocks by better services in water supply, sanitation, nutrition, and education, while fostering increased participation of women in leadership and the economy.

Since 2021, the EU and Member States have committed €200 million in grants for the TEI alone and stand ready to double this amount in the coming years.