ICIMOD and NMB Bank combine efforts to benefit mountaincommunities in Nepal (May 9, 2018)
On 9 May 2018, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and NMB Bank, Nepal signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide mountain communities in Nepal better access to finance. NMB and ICIMOD hope to build on each other’s network and strengths to foster cooperation and contribute to sustainable mountain and socio-economic development in Nepal through knowledge intervention and business promotion. The partnership focuses on achieving and delivering the shared values and goals of the organizations. The three broad focus areas of the collaboration are access to finance, impact investment, and corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities for the benefit of mountain communities.
Speaking on the occasion, David Molden, Director General of ICIMOD, said, “ICIMOD is increasingly stepping up to work closely with private sector organizations in Nepal and other regional member countries of the Hindu Kush Himalayan region. We see that there is a synergy in business and would like to engage in a meaningful partnership with NMB Bank to enhance our impact on mountain communities.” ICIMOD recognizes NMB as a strategic private sector partner that can provide communities much needed access to finance for sustainable livelihoods and the success of interventions in Nepal.
For NMB Bank, ICIMOD is a strategic knowledge and technical partner to link to social and environmental activities as well as activities related to business links and business opportunities in Nepal. NMB is a financial institution and a member of the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. Sunil KC, CEO of NMB Bank, said, “NMB believes that investing in real economies is pertinent to the long-term economic sustainability of Nepal. This collaboration with ICIMOD is in line with our faith in value-based banking. We are pleased to add value to ongoing ICIMOD activities by providing mountain communities better access to finance. Our partnership with ICIMOD will provide economic and social benefits to mountain people and help increase their income.”
“For ICIMOD, working with the private sector provides greater development impact, opportunities to upscale and longer-term sustainability,” said Basanta Shrestha, Director of Strategic Cooperation, ICIMOD. He stressed that ICIMOD, through its partnership with NMB, would like to “leverage knowledge resources from its research, demonstration, and pilots for business development opportunities and promote social impact investments for the benefit of mountain communities”.
In August this year, Nepal’s Department of Irrigation, the Government of Australia, and ICIMOD in partnership with the Alternative Energy Promotion Centre (AEPC) launched solar-powered irrigation pumps (SPIPs) in Saptari. The SPIP project is an ICIMOD pilot on clean, reliable, and affordable technology for year-round irrigation. NMB Bank offered a special loan package to farmers which allowed them to purchase SPIPs. As part of its CSR activities, NMB also handed over varieties of seeds to flood victims in Saptari.