Inclusive Growth Programme-UNNATI’s Advocacy Challenge Fund has come into operation with the signing of contracts with 30 implementing partners.
The UNNATI Programme is implemented in Ilam, Panchthar, Dhankuta, Sankhuwasabha, Tehrathum, Taplejung and Bhojpur, to improve advocacy for responsible business development, including rights and good corporate governance in orthodox tea, ginger, cardamom and dairy value chains.
Implemented by International Labour Organization (ILO) the Programme is funded by the Danish Government.
The winners of Advocacy Challenge Fund were announced amidst a programme in Lalitpur where ILO said creating an enabling environment through responsible business practices would contribute significantly to the growth of businesses. ILO provides support through the Advocacy Challenge Fund mechanisms and engages value chain actors such as associations, workers’ and employers’ organizations, NGOs and media to advocate for more effective policy coherence at national level through inclusive dialogues.
The effort is to conduct evidence based advocacy and lobbyism activities to address responsible business issues, including UN Global Compact initiatives, good corporate governance, productivity and inclusive growth.
Joint Secretary at the Ministry of Agricultural Development, Suresh Babu Tiwari, UN Resident Coordinator Valerie Julliand, Chargé d’Affairs at the Embassy of Denmark Ingrid Dahl-Madsen and ILO Director for Country Office for Nepal, Richard Howard took turns to hand over the contract agreement with 30 Advocacy Challenge Fund grantees comprising employers’ and workers’ organizations, associations, NGOs, cooperatives and the media.
UN Resident Coordinator Valerie Julliand said as Nepal works towards leaving no one behind as envisaged by the Sustainable Development Goals, it is time to ensure “decent work for all” to reduce poverty.
“Agriculture provides livelihood for three-fourths of the Nepali population and it accounts for around one-third of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. It is our hope the UNNATI Program will be instrumental in enhancing the capacity of farmers, workers and agriculture entrepreneurs in the four value chains. The UNNATI program has a large role to play in contributing to the national objectives set by the government to support Nepal in graduating from the least developed countries category,” she remarked.
Chargé d’Affairs at the Embassy of Denmark Ingrid Dahl-Madsen said Denmark has extended approximately 62 million USD to the UNNATI programme on private sector development and assist smallholder famers to improve and add value to their products so that they are able to sell more, earn more and thereby increase their living standards significantly. She said Nepal is in its important period of its growth and the support to advocacy and dialogue will help push the development of the country in a positive direction.
ILO Director Richard Howard said Nepal not only needs more jobs but decent jobs that attract young people to stay in the country and stressed this was possible only through productivity and inclusive growth. He observed that frameworks of the Global Compact initiatives and MNE Declaration of the ILO were the good guiding principles to promote responsible business practices and underlined the need to address policy and capacity constraints faced by both farmers, traders and entrepreneurs.
Earlier, Senior Agriculture Economist and Under Secretary at the Ministry of Agriculture, Binod Bhattarai informed the participants about the selection process of grantees applied under the Advocacy Challenge Fund implemented by the ILO.
Addressing the partnerships launching ceremony, Joint Secretary Tiwari said the UNNATI Programme was expected to enhance the production and marketing of selected value chain products and enable the farmers and traders to advocate for responsible business practices.