Nepal secures EU’s support for its green resilience strategy, post-pandemic recovery

By Laxman Datt Pant

Nepal secures EU’s support for its green resilience strategy, post-pandemic recovery

The EU has expressed its commitment to the Green Resilient Inclusive Development of Nepal and its readiness to extend all possible support to Nepal in achieving its development aspirations. This issue was on the table during the 13th meeting of the Joint Commission between Nepal and the European Union (EU) that took place in Kathmandu on 24 November.

The EU complimented Nepal for the strong commitments expressed during the global climate summit, COP26, and also for the ambitious Long-Term Strategy for Net-zero Emissions with the announcement of the intention to move Nepal to net-zero carbon status by 2045.

The sides agreed on the importance of actually implementing the outcome of COP26 and adopting robust measures for climate action including meeting the financial commitments.

In this context, the Joint Commission welcomed the lending activity of the European Investment Bank (EIB) in Nepal which will focus on climate change adaptation and mitigation, improved connectivity, and renewable energy in the coming years.

Nepal thanked Finland, France, Germany, and the EU for the Team Europe Initiative on green recovery for a total amount of EUR 240 million that was announced.

The EU also welcomed Nepal’s plan to graduate from the least developed country category by 2026. Nepal reiterated its appreciation of the EU’s strong support for the G20 Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) as well as for the extension of the Initiative. Both sides agreed that the swift and full implementation of the DSSI by all official bilateral creditors should be a key priority to ensure predictability given the continuing financing pressures on the beneficiary countries owing to the pandemic.

Nepal thanked the EU for the prompt supply of life-saving medical items and equipment when Nepal was struggling through the devastating second wave of the pandemic this summer and Nepal shared its plan to vaccinate the entire eligible population by April 2022 and briefed the EU about the efforts being made by the Government to contain COVID-19.

Touching upon post-pandemic recovery, the two sides stressed that vaccines are public goods, hence the need to ensure equitable access. Nepal and the EU stressed the need to strengthen the World Health Organization to deal with future pandemics.

Co-chaired by Bharat Raj Paudyal, the Foreign Secretary of the Government of Nepal, and Paola Pampaloni, Deputy Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific of the European External Affairs Service, the meeting expressed satisfaction over the successful implementation of the projects and programs envisaged under the Multiannual Indicative Programme (MIP) for Nepal for 2014-2020 in the priority areas of sustainable rural development, education and strengthening democracy and decentralization. The next Joint Commission meeting will take place in Brussels in 2022.

Set up in 1996, the Nepal-EU Joint Commission has proved to be a useful platform of engagement and has provided momentum to further deepen the partnership between Nepal and the EU, the EU-Nepal joint statement reads.