HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: A large number of teenagers in Nepal engage in pre-marital sex. But what is perturbing is that majority of them engage in “unsafe sex”. According to a recent research study the trend of unsafe pre-marital sex is also increasing. The reasons for this alarming trend are many, from the influence of globalisation to easy access to information, the study concluded. The findings of the study were revealed at the inaugural session of a three-day national conference, organised by Society for Local Integrated Development Nepal (SOLID Nepal), titled ‘Young People’s Sexual Health in Nepal: The Way Forward’. Health experts who took part in the conference pointed out that the younger generation is adopting liberal views on sex and sexuality. The practice of delayed marriage is increasingly giving way to premarital and risky sexual activity. As a result the rate of unplanned pregnancies has been rising, leading to an increase in the rate of teenage suicide and unsafe abortion. “A growing proportion of young people are engaging in pre-marital sexual intercourse and safe-sex practices are often not adhered to, particularly among young people with multiple sexual partners and those who have contact with commercial sex workers,” said the press release issued on the first day of the conference today. However, it also points out that “the knowledge of contraception among young people in Nepal is very limited and its use, almost negligible.” According to estimates, 40,000 people are living with HIV/AIDS in Nepal and one third of the infected numbers are people under 25 years of age. Similarly, 42 percent of the estimated 25,000 commercial sex workers in Nepal are estimated to be between the ages of 15 to 19.
World Bank power loan delayed
KATHMANDU: The multi-million dollar World Bank (WB) power loan agreement is now sure to be deferred till next month following the bank’s request to revise the implementation plan of the Power Development Fund (PDF). PDF is a major component of the bank’s Power Development Project (PDP), a crucial power project committed by the multilateral bank following the cancellation of a mega hydropower project, Arun III, way back in 1995. The soft loan agreement, amounting to $65 million, was initially slated to be signed in the fourth week of April in Washington and the WB was expected to write an invitation letter to the government within few days. A Nepali delegation comprising officials of Ministry of Finance, Water Resources and Nepal Electricity Authority (NEA) were scheduled to reach the World Bank office in Washington on April 20 to sign the agreement. The soft loan, seeking to finance Power Development Project(PDP), envisages establishment of PDF, a long term financing facility.