Nepal – the country of the Buddha and the Mt. Everest

Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without – Buddha

Posts Tagged ‘DIFID’

Video of the Day of the blog

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 27, 2012

Millennium Development Goals | Countdown DFID 

EARTH – One video you NEED to see 

 

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LUMBINI: Mikel Dunham’s interview with Lisa Choegyal

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 11, 2012

Lisa Choegyal is a tourism consultant who works throughout the Asia Pacific region, specializing in pro-poor sustainable tourism planning and marketing. With a background in the private sector, she was for over 20 years Director of Marketing of Tiger Mountain, Nepal’s pioneer trekking, adventure and wildlife operator. Based in Kathmandu, she has worked since 1992 as a senior associate of TRC Tourism (formerly Tourism Resource Consultants) in Wellington, New Zealand  (www.trctourism.com). Lisa was Team Leader of the ADB Ecotourism Project 2000-2001, DFID tourism monitor on TRPAP 2001-2005, tourism-marketing specialist for the ADB SASEC program 2004-2008, and prepared the UK Aid DFID Great Himalaya Trail development program for SNV Nepal 2006-2010. She serves on a number of non-profit boards related to tourism and conservation, and is New Zealand Honorary Consul to Nepal since 2010.

-LISA CHOEGYAL-sm

02-nun at Lumbini

DUNHAM: How do you assess the current framework for development in Lumbini, the framework that is already and has been in place for a long time?

CHOEGYAL: The institutional framework is interesting with so many stakeholders, different factions and historical complexities. UNESCO has a crucial role to play to preserve its world heritage status. The Lumbini Development Trust (LDT) is the obvious main custodian although it needs to be evolved into an Authority rather than a Trust. It is typical of the current political scenario that existing institutions become politicized. . Perhaps it was felt, in this case, that it is easier to create a parallel organization and just blow LDT out of the water. Three billion dollars is a convincing figure.

I’ve worked on Lumbini, from a tourism perspective, on and off, for the last twenty years but most recently with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) tourism infrastructure study, where I was part of a consulting team that designed the South Asian Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (SASEC) tourism components. SASEC is an ADB grouping of five countries: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India – actually the north and northeast States of India – Nepal and Sri Lanka. We worked for six years as tourism sector advisors on the SASEC program with our firm, TRC Tourism, which is based in Wellington, New Zealand. SASEC was modeled on the ADB’s Greater Mekong Sub-Region tourism program, on which TRC had also been tourism advisors (Cambodia, China (PRC, specifically Yunnan and Guangxi), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam).

In many ways, South Asia was easier than the Mekong because we were dealing with countries that were used to working together in tourism, and had been cooperating and selling joint packages for decades — whereas in the Greater Mekong, many of them had been emerging from long-term conflicts. We were able to make a lot of headway in the tourism sector in South Asia, whereas other SASEC sectors, such as water resources roads and large-scale infrastructure had a much more complex agenda.

Lumbini emerged as being one of the priority areas in the sub-region for tourism development using a sub-regional rationale, linked, as it is, very convincingly, with the footsteps of the Lord Buddha circuit in India. Of course it is also an incredibly important national tourism site for Nepal. Read the rest of this entry »

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EVALUATION OF EQUIPMENT SUPPLY PROGRAM FOR AIDS CONTROL AND BLOOD TEST

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 15, 2011

By Prabha Shrestha

1.         BACKGROUND

 Cases of HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) are growing rapidly in the world. According to the UNAIDS report in December 1998, 33.4 million people were HIV positive with eleven people infected every minute (JICA brochure).

 HIV/AIDS is recognized as an emerging public health problem in Nepal too.  NCASC (National Control for AIDS and STD Centre) reported 842 cases of AIDS and 3,600 HIV infections as of November 2004.  However, this data could be the tip of the iceberg due to a lack of surveillance data. UNAIDS/WHO estimated approximately 60,018 people in Nepal are living with HIV/AIDS with 2,958 AIDS related deaths in 2002.  It is possible that most of the people (60,018) living with HIV/AIDS do not know they are infected and many of them maybe engaging in unsafe sexual practices.  It is considered that there is a low disease prevalence in the general population, with a higher prevalence in various sub sets of population such as 68% in IDUs (Intravenous Drug Users) approximately 17% in Sex Workers and 4% in Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) cases (NCASC/MOH, 2003).  The consequence of inaction is that AIDS could become the leading cause of death in Nepal over coming years with a serious impact on poverty and vulnerability of the population.  Besides the negative impact on socio economic development through loss of productivity, the burden of diseases would put further stress on the health sector.

STI form a significant component of the AIDS/HIV epidemic in Nepal. Unsafe sexual behaviour contributes to a large number of HIV infections.  It is estimated that 200,000 cases of STI’s occurs annually and its prevalence in women is about 5%.  STI cases among sex workers are considerably high.  Syphilis prevalence among Sex Workers (SW) is reported to be 19% in Terai and Kathmandu with a rate of 14% in Pokhara. Similarly, syphilis prevalence is about 5% in the clients of SW (NCASC/MOH, 2004). The provision of early, correct diagnosis and effective STI treatment can not only prevent serious complications but also decrease the chance of HIV spread.  However, it is not easy to access services that provide early diagnosis and treatment in a resource poor country such as Nepal.

In order to address the above situation, HMG/Nepal adopted a National Policy for AIDS prevention with 12 key policy statements in 1995.  HIV/AIDS and STI prevention program is one of the 12 policy statements.  This policy guided NCASC to form the “National AIDS Coordination Committee” and “National AIDS Council” with participation from the government, non-government, private sector and civil society. This helps to operationalise the national policy and advocate for multisectoral participation in the fight against HIV/AIDS.  The government is committed to deliver the STI control program with the support of the External Development Partners (EDPs). Read the rest of this entry »

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