USAID is the leading U.S. Government agency that works to end extreme global poverty and enable resilient, democratic societies to realize their potential. Poor governance, stagnant economic growth, high malnutrition, vulnerability to disasters and climate change, and regressive caste and gender norms hinder development in Nepal. To address these challenges, USAID partners with Nepal on three U.S. presidential development initiatives: Feed the Future, Global Climate Change and Global Health. Across all sectors, USAID focuses on strengthening gender and social equality, reducing disaster risk, and working with the Government of Nepal to improve its institutional capacity, inclusiveness and accountability.
USAID supports healthy behaviors and improved health services, particularly for mothers and young children. In over half the country, USAID increased the prevalence of young children receiving a healthy diet from 23 percent to 59 percent. USAID also developed medical innovations that reduced newborn deaths by 23 percent. As primary school enrollment is high and reading skills are low, USAID partners with the Government of Nepal to support improved reading skills for one million students in grades 1 through 3 across 16 districts.
In 2010, after signing a cooperative agreement with USAID, CRS started implementing the USAID-supported Ghar Ghar Ma Swasthya (GGMS) project, which seeks to improve the health of disadvantaged population in Nepal via improved accessibility and availability to health goods and services, especially in hard-to-reach rural areas, through use of diversified social marketing techniques and subsidized health interventions.
German Development cooperation has been a consistent development partner to Nepal and Nepal CRS Company providing financial support to expand the product range in Family planning and Maternal Child health, Oral Rehydration Salt (ORS), Sexually Transmitted Infections and more recently menstrual hygiene management product – the biodegradable sanitary napkin. Our journey with CRS began 24 years ago and this cooperation has continued till date with fruitful results.
In the year 1997 Nepal CRS company, received first phase of support under the German Development Cooperation (financial) through KFW for Nepal Family Health Program to supplement USAID activities and expand its products suite in Family Planning and Maternal Child Health. During this period KfW supported for social marketing of low dose combined oral contraceptive pills "Sunaulo Gulaf" targeted to rural women with clear price advantage and social marketing of Nava Jeevan orange-flavored Oral Rehydration Salts (ORS) as a first aid treatment of diarrhea. Both these products have grown to be household names contributing significantly to the national effort in family planning and maternal child health. Today, Sunaulo Gulaf is one of the widely available and accepted brand among the Nepalese women with annual sales volume of 750,000 cycles while the ORS sales have reached around 4 million annually.
Our second phase of support to CRS began in the year 2008 as a non-repayable grant for the implementation of the Social Marketing and Social Franchising component of the Sector Programme Health and Family Planning. The grant provided was used for the continuation and expansion of social marketing and social franchising activities (the Sangini Network) including the procurement and distribution of oral contraceptive, STI treatment kit, Oral Rehydration salts and other sexual and reproductive health care products. In particular, the Emergency contraceptive pill launched in 2009 has also grown to a household name and synonymous with ECP in the country. During this period, the Cure kit for the treatment of Sexually Transmitted Infections was also launched. Both products were first of its kind in the country.
German Development Cooperation through KFW has continued its support to the Government of Nepal and to Nepal CRS Company in critical areas of maternal and Child Health. More recently, under the Improvement of Maternal and Child Care in Remote Areas (IMCCR), German Development Cooperation has provided grant funds to CRS to assist the Government of Nepal’s effort toward dignified menstruation and adolescent sexual reproductive health. Under the current grant, CRS has undertaken the social marketing of bio-degradable sanitary napkins in Dadeldhura, Doti, Baitadi and Bajhang Districts with particular focus on the schoolgirl in public school of these four districts. The project seeks to increase the availability of biodegradable napkin at affordable prices and raise awareness, reduce social stigma, taboos and norms associated with menstruation.