Nepal heralded a welcome development with the first local and provincial elections held in 20 years, moving forward on its commitments to federalization envisioned in the 2015 Constitution. By the end of 2017, the parties were still discussing the timing of the indirect elections to the Upper House and government formation, once the Federal Parliament results would be finalized, by the beginning of 2018. The various rounds of elections and the enforcement of the Election Code of Conduct impacted the delivery of development and humanitarian assistance. The roles and responsibilities in development cooperation of each of the three tiers of government is not clearly articulated. During the last quarter of 2017, development partners were engaged in ad hoc coordination discussions with newly elected local government officials requiring flexibility and adaptability by the UN Country Team in Nepal.
The local elections have also brought to office an unprecedented number of women, Dalits and people from traditionally marginalised groups, which provides a unique opportunity to have a more inclusive decision-making process.
Heavy monsoon rainfall in August 2017 triggered severe flash floods and landslides in 32 out of 75 districts in Nepal. An Initial Rapid Assessment conducted in 28 districts by the Government revealed that floods and landslides claimed 141 lives, injured 117 persons, displaced 460,900 people, and left 24 missing.
Damage to houses, infrastructure, and productive resources was severe; roughly 65,000 houses were destroyed and 120,100 houses were partially damaged. The Government led the flood response, and the Humanitarian Country Team and development partners stepped in to support the Government’s efforts to focus on vulnerable groups especially among the most excluded sectors, including women and girls
The floods impacted the economy, as they affected livelihoods, housing and the harvest. The Government of Nepal launched a Post Flood Recovery Needs Assessment to help prioritize the Government’s recovery efforts. The reconstruction component was added to the portfolio of the National Reconstruction Agency (NRA), an institution that was established after the devastating 2015 earthquakes. Post-earthquake reconstruction is continuing at a steady pace with the NRA using community feedback to ensure that due attention is given to people’s needs and perceptions, including women, girls and disadvantaged groups, who could be left out of the process.