Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Minister for Development launches new UK-Nepal development portfolio [February 2024]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 20 February 2024.

Minister for Development and Africa Andrew Mitchell visited Nepal to deepen the UK’s historic partnership and announce a new development portfolio.

  • new UK development portfolio will help Nepal to tackle the climate crisis, mobilise international finance for development, deliver economic transformation, and support governance and inclusion
  • UK development support will see £400 million ($505 million) in grants delivered by 2030
  • impacts will include helping create 13,500 jobs, attracting more than $1 billion in investment and supporting access to quality health and education services for 2 million women and girls

A new £400 million development portfolio will mobilise vital private sector funding in development, tackle the climate crisis and support economic growth in Nepal.

The plan will support the creation of 13,500 jobs, help Nepal attract over $1 billion in investment, and deliver access to quality health care and education services for 2 million women and girls by 2030.

Minister for International Development Andrew Mitchell launched the portfolio during a 2-day visit to Nepal. Its focus on long-term, systemic transformation emphasises the UK’s commitment to supporting sustainable and inclusive development globally, as set out in the recently published White Paper.

Minister for Development and Africa, Andrew Mitchell, said:

The UK and Nepal share close bonds, cemented by our deep history as Nepal’s oldest partner. We also share an ambition to secure a more resilient and prosperous future for Nepal.

During my visit I saw how the UK is helping marginalised communities, building climate resilience and a sustainable economic transformation for Nepal.

Our new development portfolio will help Nepal on that journey and to mobilise the funding needed to support growth and development. This is part of a partnership fit to respond to the challenges and opportunities during the next hundred years of UK-Nepal friendship.

In a speech at the Nepalese Ministry of Finance, the minister set out how the UK will work with Nepal to help mobilise development funding, tackle the climate crisis and build business, to support Nepal’s expected transition from Least Developed Country status.

Improved access to sustainable local infrastructure, a key element of that transition, is expected to benefit 1.7 million people across the country as a result of the UK’s new Development Portfolio.

During his visit, Minister Mitchell held talks with Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Foreign Minister Narayan Prakash Saud and Finance Minister Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat. Together they affirmed UK support for Nepal’s Investment Summit in April 2024, and discussed the reforms necessary to mobilise finance and attract investors.

As part of the new portfolio, Minister Mitchell welcomed the recent agreement by Nepal’s Cabinet on new programmes that will support green and inclusive growth, attract foreign direct investment, and promote more inclusive business.

While in Nepal, Minister Mitchell visited the Upper-Trishuli-1 Hydropower project to see the impact of nearly $22 million of British International Investment (BII) funding. This investment will provide clean and reliable energy to millions of people, while boosting economic growth by creating jobs. Supporting multilateral development banks and development finance institutions to adopt new business models and mobilise more investment remains a key priority for the government.

He also saw how UK investment is supporting job creation and entrepreneurship at Upaya, Nepal’s first tech-enabled transportation logistics provider, and with the Youth Innovation Lab who are harnessing digital technology to build Nepal’s disaster resilience.

Minister Mitchell saw first-hand the threats of climate change in the Hindu Kush Himalaya, and how the UK is helping Nepal manage climate risks. This includes through the £274 million Climate Action for a Resilient Asia (CARA) programme, supporting the Integrated Centre for International Mountain Development (ICIMOD) to promote a more climate resilient and inclusive Hindu Kush Himalaya.

At the One-Stop Crisis Management Centre at Lumbini Province Hospital, the minister saw how UK funding is improving support to survivors of gender-based violence. He also discussed how the UK is supporting female entrepreneurs, thought leaders and activists to address social exclusion of women and marginalised groups.