Donors call for stepping up efforts to fight graft

Kathmandu, December 9

On the occasion of the International Anti-Corruption Day, Nepal’s development partners today urged the government to step up efforts to combat corruption and build a culture of integrity.

The UN Country Team in Nepal, Royal Norwegian Embassy, Embassy of Germany, EU Delegation in Nepal, Embassy of Switzerland, the Embassy of the UK and DFID, JICA Nepal Office, Asian Development Bank Nepal, Embassy of Finland and World Bank made the call issuing a press statement.

Saying Nepal has made significant strides towards aligning its agenda to international corruption-reduction standards, they said they were looking forward to engaging with the government as well as with the civil society and other relevant stakeholders to control corruption.

“Corruption and illicit financial flows present a major threat to Nepal’s economic development, good governance, national stability, business climate, and its achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals “(SDGs),” read the statement.

A recent study by GlobalFinancial Integrity and UNDP estimates that around US$ 9 billion have been diverted because of illicit financial flows from 2002 to 2011. These are resources that could, and should, have been used for social and economic development of Nepal.

According to the statement, with the global adoption of the SDGs in September 2015, there is a new momentum for Nepal to recognise that reducing corruption is key to reaching its development targets. Through an adaptive SDG agenda, Nepal can substantially reduce corruption in all its forms.

Nepal has been in a transitional context for more than a decade; this has resulted in political instability, weak rule of law and accountability. The 2015 earthquakes set back the achievement of development objectives further.

Saying Nepal possesses extensive and detailed institutional and legal arrangements for combating corruption, the development partners said: “A challenge is transformation of laws into real enforcement effort on the ground.”

They further stated that Nepal also had a strategy and action plan in place for addressing corruption, however prioritisation and closer follow-up from different stakeholders is needed to make real progress.

Despite these challenges, opportunities also emerge. The Constitution of Nepal offers opportunities to promote transparency, accountability and integrity at all levels of government.

Additionally, Nepal has a unique development opportunity with current flow of aid in reconstruction and recovery after the earthquakes.

To fully tap into the potential aid flow and mitigate potential corruption risks, we as development partners expect that the government will step up its fight against corruption and ensure complete transparency, they added.