ADB Country Portfolio Meeting

Asian Development Bank and the Government of Nepal organise a two-day meeting to assess the progress of ADB-supported development projects.

From left: Nepal Finance Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat, ADB Director General for South Asia Kenichi Yokoyama, and ADB Country Director for Nepal Arnaud Cauchois. Photo: ADB

The Asian Development Bank (ADB)'s Director General for South Asia, Kenichi Yokoyama, remarked at the bank's two-day country portfolio review meeting last week that improved portfolio performance is key for timely delivery of development results and securing higher and sustained concessional resource allocations. 

“Nepal needs to achieve at least $350 million to $450 million disbursement per year to be considered for higher concessional resource allocations based on ADB’s performance-based allocation system,” said Yokoyama.

The Government of Nepal was joint-organiser of the meeting and Finance Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat added, “We appreciate ADB’s support to Nepal’s development over the years. The government is committed to overcome the challenges related to project implementation and disbursements and improve capital expenditure for development impact on the ground for Nepali people.” 

Similarly, ADB-supported projects – Urban Water Supply and Sanitation (Sector) Project, Bagmati River Basin Improvement Project-Additional Financing, SASEC Highway Improvement Project, Rural Enterprise Financing Project, and Power Transmission and Distribution Efficiency Enhancement Project – were awarded at a special ceremony for their excellence in effective project management, gender equality, and social inclusion, environmental and social safeguards monitoring at a special ceremony. 

Since the start of its operations in Nepal in 1969, ADB has provided about $7.6 billion in financial and technical assistance to the country. As of 31 December 2022, ADB’s active portfolio in Nepal stands at around $3.2 billion, supporting a broad range of key sectors: energy, transport, agriculture, water and urban infrastructure and services, rural development and natural resources, health, and education. 

While this number is lower than expected, caused mainly by insufficient project staff and high turnover, challenges in contract management, delays in environmental and land clearances, and disruption of construction supply chain, ADB Country Director for Nepal Arnaud Cauchois added: “Following the review, MOF and ADB will agree on specific actions to overcome the challenges and we are hopeful that project implementation and disbursement will pick up pace.”