Nepal eligible for Peacebuilding Fund: UN chief

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United Nations, Dec 29: United Nation Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has declared that Nepal is eligible to receive assistance from the UN Peacebuilding Fund, set up a year ago to help countries emerging from conflict, to consolidate their gains and avoid slipping back into war.

Mr Ban yesterday instructed his Special Representative and the UN Mission in Nepal to ensure that financing from the fund was targeted to priority peace-process needs that have already been identified by the UN after consultations with the government and all parties to the peace process, along with donors and other key stakeholders. Assistant Secretary-General for Peacebuilding Support, Carolyn McAskie, said Nepal was declared eligible for assistance from the fund because of the pressing need to consolidate the country's peaceful gains and ensure that key areas in the peace process were supported.

As many as 13,000 people were killed and up to 200,000 displaced during the decade-long civil conflict in the Himalayan nation that formally ended when the government and Maoists signed a peace accord last year.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees and other agencies of the world body were helping tens of thousands of the displaced who had returned to their homes after the end of the conflict.

They, however, had to deal with problems of land seizure and finding sustainable livelihood.

The fund is intended to kick-start critical peacebuilding interventions with the help of multilateral and bilateral supporters. The fund has an initial funding target of 250 million dollars and has so far collected deposits worth more than 148 million dollars from 42 donors.It has already approved grants of 43 million dollars for 21 projects in Burundi and Sierra Leone -- the first two countries under formal consideration by the related UN Peacebuilding Commission.

The fund has also aided several emergency projects in Africa which have supported critical peacebuilding initiatives such as the dialogue between opposing political forces and the mediation efforts in the troubled Central African Republic.

Earlier this month, the fund agreed to provide Liberia with 15 million dollars over the next two years to aid projects in the West African nation.


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