The ICMS Hosts Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director for Nepal at Asian Development Bank

The Institute of Crisis Management Studies (ICMS) hosted Mr. Kenichi Yokoyama, Country Director for Nepal at the Asian Development Bank. The talk, which took place at the ICMS campus in Dhumbarahi on 27 June 2014 saw Mr. Yokoyama present to 70 individuals from a range of different sectors on issues related to Nepal’s economic development and risk management, and the role of the ADB. He addressed a number of core concepts and issues specifically in relation to macro-economic performance risks, progress on poverty reduction and human development, medium-term economic development challenges and risks, and finally, the role of the ADB in country partnership strategy 2013-2017.

Mr. Yokoyama elaborated on Nepal’s fiscal condition as being stable, conditions under which public investment can happen providing the possibility of future acceleration of economic growth. Nepal’s moderate economic growth is however vulnerable to external factors, particular from India in regard to supply constraints and rigid price structures. Due to these external factors, global economic performance will affect Nepal to a large extent. Mr. Yokoyama highlighted that, in the last twenty years, the poverty rate had been reduced from 42 percent to 24 percent - greater than any other South Asian country. Utility access has also been substantially increased over the last twenty years. However, the social and regional disparities are significant from rural to more populous areas of the country.

Mr. Yokoyama then went onto explain the role of the ADB in Nepal’s economic growth. The five year country partnership agenda is coming to completion, whereby, the major concern is how to manage risks long term. Mr. Yokoyama provided information on roadmaps for each of the following sectors: energy, transport, urban infrastructure and services, education and skills, and agriculture. He predicted that by 2016 clean water and constant electricity supplies are an achievable target.

A key theme was  the ADB’s Disaster Risk Management Support projects which are ongoing in Nepal including the Emergency Flood Damage Rehabilitation Project, the School Sector Program, the Water Resources Project Preparatory Facility, Mainstreaming Climate Change Risk Management in Development, and Building Climate Resilience of Watersheds in Mountain Eco-Regions.

After the presentation, there was a question and answer session, where some of the 70 listeners including politicians, scholars, INGO and NGO workers and the ICMS student body were able to ask questions relating to the topic. A massive thanks to Mr. Yokoyama for coming to the ICMS and imparting such an up-to-date look at the ADB's activities in Nepal and predictions for the years to come. The night was hosted by Mr. Nagendra Kumar Lama, a current student of the ICMS. Pictures have been provided by Pasang Lama, another student of the ICMS. We thank them both for a great job and thanks to everyone involved on a very succesful evening.