KATHMANDU, June 26, 2022 – World Bank Managing Director for Development Policy and Partnerships, Mari Pangestu concluded her five-day visit to Nepal, reiterating the World Bank’s commitment to support Nepal’s resilient recovery from the pandemic. She was joined by Regional Vice President for South Asia, Hartwig Schafer.
Pangestu met with the Rt. Honorable President of Nepal, Bidya Devi Bhandari, Rt. Honorable Prime Minister of Nepal, Sher Bahadur Deuba, Honorable Minister of Finance, Janardan Sharma, and Honorable Minister of Energy, Water Resources & Irrigation, Pampha Bhusal. The meetings focused on Nepal’s economy, the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, and Nepal’s pathways to Green, Resilient, and Inclusive Development (GRID). In her meetings, Pangestu lauded Nepal as an early mover in pivoting towards GRID and reiterated the World Bank’s support for the country’s resilient recovery and sustainable development.
“Nepal is a champion in the region with the adoption of GRID as a strategic framework to guide development policy decisions,” said Mari Pangestu. “As the largest multilateral funder of climate investments in developing countries, with more than $26 billion provided for climate action last fiscal year alone, the World Bank Group takes pride in helping countries such as Nepal lay the foundation for sustainable, inclusive, and resilient recovery.”
Pangestu participated in a high-level dialogue with senior representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Forests and Environment, development partners, private sector, and youth to unpack key issues and opportunities for GRID in Nepal. The high-level event was organized building on the September 2021 Kathmandu Declaration endorsed by the Government of Nepal and 16 Development Partners, which identified up to $7.4 billion in committed and potential support for GRID and paved the way for the development of a strategic action plan for Nepal.
“GRID is an integrated, cross-sectoral, and comprehensive approach to generating higher quality growth and development,” said Hartwig Schafer. “One of the pillars of the approach is creating inclusive opportunities especially for women who play a key role in economic recovery and the society which will require investment in shock-responsive social protection, green job creation, and measures to strengthen diverse voices in development processes.”
Meetings were also held with private sector and development experts, women leading climate action, and young Nepali entrepreneurs working with green and sustainable enterprises. Outside Kathmandu, Pangestu and the World Bank delegation visited earthquake housing reconstruction sites in Kavre, as well as the proposed Upper Arun Hydro Electric Project site.
“As part of achieving GRID, the World Bank is committed to supporting Nepal’s energy sector development through clean sources including hydropower and cross-border power trade, and recognizes the transformative potential of the proposed Upper Arun Hydro Electric Project,” said Pangestu.