Despite a decade of conflict until 2006 followed by protracted political instability, Nepal, as of project appraisal, had made good progress in reducing poverty and achieving almost universal enrollment in primary education with gender parity.
Taking a cautious approach to address gender-based violence (GBV), which is a non-traditional area for Asian Development Bank (ADB) assistance, ADB approved a grant of $750,000 from the Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction (JFPR) for a pilot project on Establishing Women and Children Service Centers (WCSCs) in Nepal in July 2009.
Because of lack of job opportunities in the rural areas and prolonged conflict, Nepal experienced rapid urbanization from internal migration. Rapid urbanization resulted in inadequate urban infrastructure and services, including intermittent drinking water supply, poor water quality, and poor sanitation.
During project appraisal in 2008, only 33% Nepal’s households were being served with grid electricity, and the country could not generate adequate power to totally meet demand. Nepal’s hydropower generation potential alone is estimated at 43,000 megawatt (MW) but the total installed generation capacity was only 615 MW in 2008.