Foreign volunteers’ regulation due in a month

- PRITHVI MAN SHRESTHA, Kathmandu
The working procedure would determine the areas where Nepal would accept volunteers: Officials

Jul 11, 2018-The government will introduce within one month a procedure to regulate the process of inviting foreign volunteers in the country.

Officials from various ministries, six donors and International Non-Government Organisations (INGOs) took this decision at a meeting they attended on Tuesday.

Officials from Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA), Finance, Foreign Affairs, Agriculture, Forest and Health ministries, representatives from donors and INGOs-Japan International Cooperation Agency, Korea International Co-operation Agency, Volunteer Service Overseas, Australian Volunteer Programme, Unicera Programme, CECI Nepal and US Peace Corps Nepal attended the meeting.

The government will publish a report on the achievements made over the years through foreign volunteers in the country within a month.

Foreign volunteers are in Nepal for the last 50 years.

The Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration (MoFAGA) Secretary Dinesh Thapaliya told the Post the decision was taken because foreign volunteers enter the country on ad-hoc basis up to now.

Although the Development Co-operation Policy-2014 mentions deploying volunteers for various programmes at the local levels according to their expertise and local needs. However, this does not specify procedural details.

“We do not have detailed information about movement of foreign volunteers, the government agencies involved in the process and the areas where their presence has been beneficial and where it has not been,” said Thapaliya.

The working procedure would determine the areas where Nepal would accept volunteers, said another official. Currently, foreign volunteers with experience and expertise in 15 different sectors work in the country, according to the ministry.

They include occupational therapists, youth activity, environmental education, mid wife, social welfare, nursing, clinical pathology, science/math teacher, primary school teacher, vegetable growing, Korean language education, computer development advisor and food security volunteers.

“We have accepted foreign volunteers even in areas where we have a lot of human resources and expertise such as nursing. In the working procedure, we will fix limited priority areas in consultation with the local governments,” said the official. “We will accept volunteers particularly in areas where we have no or little technical expertise.”

During the meeting on Tuesday, representatives of donors and INGOs told the government to shorten the process of providing visa and work permit. It takes six months to one year for any volunteer to arrive in Nepal after local units make a request, according to MoFAGA.

Published: 11-07-2018 07:42

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