International Development Committee Announcement

NEW INQUIRY:   DFID’S PROGRAMME IN NEPAL

Nepal is the poorest country in south Asia with one third of the population living below the poverty line. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement signed in 2006 between the Seven Party Alliance and the Maoists ended a 10-year civil war which had badly affected Nepal’s socio-economic progress. Nearly 400,000 rural families were displaced, infrastructure was destroyed and 13,000 lives were lost.

The difficult post-conflict situation complicates the delivery of basic services and development planning. Nepal’s topography also makes access to health and education difficult - 36% of the population have to walk between 2 and 4 hours to reach a road.

Nepal has nevertheless made progress towards the Millennium Development Goals in a number of areas. It has reduced maternal mortality by 20-30%, cut under-five mortality by 40% and primary school enrolment has increased to 89%. However access to basic services remains very unequal.

DFID is the largest bilateral donor in Nepal and will provide £172 million in assistance over the three years to 2012. DFID’s support to Nepal is focused on improving governance, economic growth, health and education. Along with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Ministry of Defence, DFID also provides assistance to Nepal’s peace process through the UK’s Conflict Prevention Pool and to a number of multilateral peace support programmes.

The Committee intends to begin an inquiry into DFID’s programme in Nepal. The issues which the inquiry will address include:

  • DFID’s support for governance and state-building;
  • How DFID works with the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence to support the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and security sector reform;
  • DFID’s approach to achieving poverty reduction and improving access to basic services;
  • DFID’s efforts to reduce social exclusion and inequality including its work with women;
  • Donor coordination in support of greater aid-effectiveness and peace-building.

Submission of written evidence

The Committee invites individuals and organisations with relevant expertise and experience to submit written evidence on any of these issues.

The deadline for submitting written evidence is Wednesday 30 September 2009. 

The Committee particularly welcomes submissions from individuals and organisations in developing countries.

Evidence submitted should:

Submissions can also be sent by post to International Development Committee, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London, SW1P 3JA.

A guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at: http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm

Please also note that:

  • Material already published elsewhere should not form the basis of a submission, but may be referred to within written evidence, in which case a hard copy of the published work should be included. If a number of published documents are sent to accompany written evidence, these should be listed in the covering email.
  • Written evidence submitted must be kept confidential until published by the Committee, unless publication by the person or organization submitting it is specifically authorised.
  • Once submitted, evidence is the property of the Committee. The Committee normally, though not always, chooses to make public the written evidence it receives, by publishing it on the internet (where it will be searchable), by printing it or by making it available through the Parliamentary Record Office. If there is any information you believe to be sensitive you should highlight it and explain what harm you believe would result from its disclosure. The Committee will take this into account in deciding whether to publish or further disclose the evidence. 
  • It would be helpful, for Data Protection purposes, if individuals wishing to submit written evidence send their contact details separately in a covering letter. You should be aware that there may be circumstances in which the House of Commons will be required to communicate information to third parties on request, in order to comply with its obligations under the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
  • Select Committees are unable to investigate individual cases.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

Committee Membership is as follows: Malcolm Bruce MP (Chairman, Lib Dem), John Battle MP (Lab), Hugh Bayley MP (Lab), Richard Burden MP (Lab), Mr Stephen Crabb MP (Con), Mr Mark Hendrick MP (Lab/Co-op), Daniel Kawczynski MP (Con), Mr Virendra Sharma (Lab), Mr Marsha Singh MP (Lab), Andrew Stunell MP (Lib Dem).

Committee Contact: Carol Oxborough, 020 7219 1226 or [email protected]

Media Enquiries: Alex Paterson, 020 7219 1589, or [email protected]

Committee website: www.parliament.uk/indcom

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv

Publications/Reports/Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge Street, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474)