Far West receives lowest foreign aid

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KATHMANDU, APR 12 – The Central development region continued to receive the largest amount of foreign aid disbursement while the Far Western region received the lowest aid in fiscal year 2013-14, according to a government report. There are five development regions in the country.

The trend has been prevalent since fiscal year 2011-12 , according to successive Development Cooperation Reports released by the Finance Ministry. The disbursement of aid in Far Western region was third behind central and Mid Western region in fiscal 2010-11, the ministry said. The Mid Western region has continued to remain the second largest recipient of foreign aid over the last four consecutive years. As per the ministry, the Central development region received aid disbursement of $174.06 million while the Far Western region received just $ 86.17 million. Mid Western Development Region comes second with disbursement of $132.64 million followed by the Western development region with $123.18 million and the Eastern development region with $115.54 million. Far Western region also gets the lowest percentage of government budget for the districts within the region.

In the current fiscal, the Far Western region received 12 percent budget out of the total district-level budget while the Central region received the highest with 29 percent of budget, according to the National Planning Commission (NPC).

NPC member Chandramani Adhikari said that the Far Western region recieved low resources since investments were not made in infrastructure sector during the conflict period and that there is also a tendency among donors and non-government organisations to carry out their activities in accessible areas. “The state has realised that there is need for investment in both physical and social infrastructure,” he said.

According to him, the NPC has already asked the ministries to submit development programmes for the next budget by considering the needs in terms of population, geography, level of poverty and human development index. While distursement of foreign aid is highest in Central region, the Mid Western and Far Western region are on top in terms of per capita aid disbursement. They are followed by the Western, Eastern and Central development regions. The report indicates that a sizable proportion of on-budget disbursements in Mid Western region compared to other development regions could have led to high per capita aid disbursement in Mid West region. According to the report, the region with the highest levels of poverty (Far Western) was the one which received the least amount of disbursements in fiscal year 2012-13.