April 8: Nepal has received US$ 2 billion in official development assistance (ODA) from various bilateral and multilateral development partners in the last fiscal year 2019/20.
According to the ‘Development Cooperation Report, 2020’ launched by the Ministry of Finance on Thursday, the ODA disbursement in the last fiscal year represents a 21.2 percent jump from $1.58 billion that Nepal had received as financial supports from bilateral and multilateral partners in the previous fiscal year 2018/19.
Out of the total ODA, 69.9 percent was provided to Nepal as loans, 18.7 percent as grants and 11.3 percent as technical assistance in 2019/20, the Report shows.
Officials at the MoF say that the increasing share of loans in ODA reflects the result of Nepal’s eligibility in concessional loans from multilateral development banks and institutions.
The portion of budgetary support in the ODA by development partners has gone up significantly in the last fiscal year. The report terms the rise in the share of budgetary support in ODA an ‘important shift’.
According to the report, the portion of budgetary support has reached 36.9 percent of the total ODA from 15.2 percent.
“The Report shows that Nepal still continues to receive substantial amounts of off-budget and off-treasury cooperation, though there has been a gradual improvement,” wrote Shree Krishna Nepal, in the ‘acknowledgements’ section of the report.
Out of the total ODA that Nepal received, 25.6 percent, or $512.9million, was disbursed for Covid-19 response and recovery, according to the Report.
Multilateral development partners’ assistance accounted for 71 percent while bilateral development partners’ assistance contributed 29 percent of the total ODA. The Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the European Union and the United Nations were the top disbursing multilateral partners.
The USA, the UK, India, China and Japan remained at the top of the list of bilateral partners disbursing ODA.
“Though FY 2019/20 showed positive trends in the volume of ODA disbursements and use of budgetary support and other on-budget projects, it is unclear whether these changes represent real shifts in the development cooperation landscape of Nepal or these changes are only short-term responses to the global COVID-19 crisis,” read the report.