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Global Health

Image of group of Nepali women sitting at a USAID-supported health education workshop.
Women receive information on contraceptive methods at a USAID-supported community health education workshop in Sarlahi district.
Ganesh Thapa, Nepal Family Health Program II

USAID’s support in the health sector reflects one of the longest standing and most successful development assistance programs in Nepal. Despite a 10-year civil insurgency, Nepal has experienced two decades of steady improvement in health and has emerged as one of the few countries on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) related to reducing maternal and child mortality. Nepal is also making progress toward several other MDGs, including the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. However, challenges remain, including significant disparities between urban and rural populations’ access to health care. For example, infant mortality in rural areas is 55 deaths per 1,000 live births compared with 38 deaths per 1,000 live births in urban areas.

As one of the largest health sector donors, USAID has a strong and collaborative partnership with the Government of Nepal to improve the survival and quality of life of all Nepalis through equitable and well-governed health systems. In 2010, the U.S. Government’s Global Health Initiative (GHI) officially designated Nepal as a focus country. By renewing attention to family planning, nutrition, HIV, and maternal, newborn, and child health, the GHI is helping accelerate progress towards the MDGs, and heighten the impact of all U.S. assistance in the health sector. Aligned with the Government of Nepal’s health strategy, the GHI is building on existing efforts to address the needs of women, girls, and other vulnerable groups, promoting research for policymaking and engaging other donors and civil society in health.

  • USAID health activities reach more than 14 million Nepalis of reproductive age and 3.6 million children under the age of 5.
  • With support from USAID and other donors, Nepal is one of very few countries on track to meet more than one of the MDGs in health.

Key areas of focus include: