Nepal Launches Joint Migration and Development Initiative Project

Nepal – The Joint Migration and Development Initiatives (JMDI) project, funded by the European Commission and the Swiss Development Cooperation, was launched in Nepal’s capital Kathmandu today (24/6).

The USD 9.5 million programme is led by the UNDP in partnership with IOM, UNHCR, ILO, UNFPA and UN Women, and is being implemented in Nepal, Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador and the Philippines. Oxfam and Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee (PNCC) were chosen as local partners in Nepal.

The programme operates within Nepal’s UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) 2013-2017, in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD.)

Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment Buddhi Bahadur Khadka said: “The Government of Nepal is very keen to address the issue, as the JMDI rightly highlights the link between migration and development, which is crucial in Nepal.”

Some two million Nepalese live and work outside Nepal and this figure excludes India. Remittances account for some 25 percent of Nepal’s GDP. Every year, around 450,000 young people enter the labor market, but there are few opportunities for decent jobs.

Head of the European Union (EU) Delegation to Nepal Ambassador Rensje Teerink said: “The EU recognizes the indispensable role that migration can play in contributing to development. In securing the positive impacts of migration, it is necessary to continue developing people-centered support mechanisms that provide for effective high-quality services to migrants.”

Advisor on the Migration and Development from the Swiss Development Cooperation Barbara Weyermann emphasized the enormous social and economic impact of labour migration, while noting that the migrants and their respective governments have not yet fully realized the potential for development through investment of remittances and through the experiences and skills that migrants acquire abroad.

“This is why Switzerland co-funds the JMDI. With its support to innovative project ideas, JMDI will add to the growing body of knowledge as to how migrants and governments can be encouraged to see migration as a positive contribution to poverty reduction and local development,” she noted.

The first phase of the JMDI, which lasted from 2008 until 2012, implemented migration and development initiatives from civil society organizations (CSOs) in 16 target countries. The findings of the JMDI stressed the importance of strategic partnerships between CSOs and governments at decentralized levels.

The second phase of JMDI running through 2013-2015 targets local authorities, as well as CSOs that have a stake in local development and migration. IOM Nepal is the anchor agency for the JMDI implementation. The PNCC and Oxfam have been selected to scale up their activities in Nepal with a budget of some USD 500,000.

 IOM Chief of Mission, Maurizio Busatti noted: “In today’s globalized world there is no single country not affected by migration, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination and sometimes all of them. Migration can be a powerful lever for development, through and beyond remittances flows and this is a key challenge and an opportunity that Nepal should rise up to. I believe that the JMDI with its heavy stress on local development is an important step in the right direction.”

For information on the JMDI, please visit

Or contact IOM Nepal

Maurizio Busatti
Tel. +977 1 4426250


Moheindu Chemjong