KATHMANDU, FEB 22 –
Trunk road development, hydropower, water supply and management and establishing rule of law are the key areas where the Japan International Cooperation Agency ( JICA ) aims to concentrate its aid in Nepal.
According to a document made available by JICA to the Finance Ministry, other high-priority areas for Japanese aid are local administration strengthening, support to school management improvement and promotion of high value-added farm products and diversification of agriculture.
“Although private sector development and the health sector have been priorities in JICA ’s cooperation programme in Nepal, we have been informed that they will get relatively little priority in the days to come,” said Hari Prasad Pandey, under secretary at the Finance Ministry.
During a recent policy dialogue meeting between JICA and the Finance Ministry, the Japanese aid agency showed interest in providing help to develop a major hydropower project in partnership with the Asian Development Bank, according to Pandey.
Under trunk road development, JICA will assist in rural road and regional bridge development, upgradation of roads, improvement of the transportation system in Kathmandu metropolitan area and airport development.
“They are interested in developing a tunnel road from Thankot and expanding the Suryabinayak-Banepa road to six lanes,” said Pandey.
Under hydropower development, JICA has accorded priority to capacity building for power development planning, implementation and power transmission and distribution network development.
JICA has pledged a soft loan worth 15.13 billion Japanese yen and has provided a soft loan to the Tanahun Hydropower Project. It has also identified the 10 best reservoir-type hydropower projects. “Considering the prolonged power crisis the country has been suffering from, JICA has been eager to provide support to this sector,” said Pandey. Another key area in JICA ’s cooperation programme is water supply and waste water development in the Kathmandu valley and provincial cities besides waste management programmes. It has pledged financial support for the development of a water treatment plant in Sundarijal for the water to be brought from Melamchi.
As part of its effort to help establish the rule of law, JICA will support media and community mediation. It will help develop an evaluation and monitoring system in the local bodies. In order to improve rural living standards, JICA has focused on high value-added farm products and diversification of agriculture.
Source : eKantipur