Kathmandu - The Joint Migration and Development Initiatives (JMDI), where International Organization for Migration (IOM) plays the role of anchor agency, is funded by the European Commission and the Swiss Development Cooperation, was launched in Kathmandu on 24 June 2014. Attendees include VIPs from various ministries, the Delegation of the European Union to Nelpal, UN partners, Civil Society Organizations and also some local media.
With a total fund of USD 9.5 million, is led by the UNDP in partnership with IOM, UNHCR, ILO, UNFPA and UN Women and implemented in Morocco, Senegal, Tunisia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nepal and the Philippines. Oxfam and Pravasi Nepali Coordination Committee were chosen as local partners for Nepal.
The programme operates within the United Nations Development Assistance Framework 2013-2017 in collaboration with the Ministry of Labour and Employment and the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD). Mr. Buddhi Bahadur Khadka, Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, said in his remarks “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.”
In fact, around 2 million Nepalese live and work outside Nepal and this figure excludes India. Also, 25 percent of the Nepal’s GDP relies on remittances. Every year, around 450,000 young people enter the labor market but opportunities for decent jobs remain far short.
H.E. Rensje Teerink, Ambassador, Head of the European Union Delegation to Nepal, 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. The EU is keen to see the success of the implementation of this joint initiative here in Nepal, which demonstrates how we can all work together to capitalize on the energy of different actors to deliver local solutions to global challenges."
Ms. Barbara Weyermann, Advisor on the Migration and Development from the Swiss Development Cooperation emphasized the enormous social and economic impact of labour migration, while still 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 learnings 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 continued.
The first phase of the JMDI, which lasted from 2008 until 2012, implemented Migration and Development (M&D) initiatives from civil society organizations 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, on the other hand, started from 2013-2015 specifically targeting the local authorities as well as CSOs that have a stake in local development and migration issue. IOM Nepal is the anchor agency for the JMDI implementation and the PNCC and Oxfam have been selected to scale up their activities in Nepal with an estimated budget of USD 500,000.
IOM Chief of Mission, Maurizio Busatti noted, “In today 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.”
Also, please visit www.migration4development.org