After four days of walking and talking to lower ranks, the district-level official in charge of the Magarat Autonomous Region, Santosh Buda, suddenly
Photo: Photo: giz


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For ten years, Nepalese fought Nepalese in a conflict which divided the country and left a trail of destruction and poverty – especially in rural areas. In the districts of Rukum and Rolpa, the Maoist rebels established a parallel government, while the official government was entrenched in the district headquarters. People mistrusted each other. Can a German International Cooperation project work successfully in such a fragile environment?

The Nepali society has always been characterised by a strong economic, social and geographical marginalisation of large parts of its population. The central governments in Kathmandu have always neglected people in the rural areas. As a result, infrastructure as well as access to state services has remained marginal through the times.

Nepali society as a whole is governed by patriarchal norms and values. Therefore, the majority of women from all castes and ethnicities are traditionally excluded and marginalised. The Global Gender Gap Report (2011) of the World Economic Forum places Nepal rank 126 out of 135 countries. So-called lower castes are similarly excluded from public life.

The different manifestations of exclusion and the resulting high rates of poverty and unemployment, the unequal distribution of resources and food insufficiency were the root causes of the civil war from 1996–2006. Today Nepal ranks 157th in the Human Development Index (2011) and is one of the poorest nations world-wide.

Heartland of the insurgency

It is no coincidence that the districts of Rukum and Rolpa were the heartland and starting points of the insurgency.

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