Social Protection for Orphaned Children in Nepal
The Government of Nepal announced that the social protection program to protect its most vulnerable citizens will now also cover orphan children. National Child Right Council (NCRC) under the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizen is poised to pilot the program which has been officially endorsed in fiscal year 2077/78 (2020/21) federal budget. In addition, provincial government of Bagmati has included social protection program for orphan children in their Annual Policy and Plan. It was announced that the cash transfer of NPR 2000 per month to orphan children (without both parents) will be administered from now onwards.
Realizing the lack of social protection program for orphan children in Nepal, Save the Children piloted the concept of Child Endowment Fund (CEF) in collaboration with three local government entities (former Village Development Committees) of Sindhupalchowk district. On the occasion of children’s day 15 September 2011, the VDCs for the first time provided cash support to 31 orphaned children. By February 2014, CEF was expanded to cover all 79 VDCs of the district. CEF expanded to Kavre in 2015 and Dolakha in 2016.
After the federal governance system came into effect, Chautara Municipality of Sindhupalchowk district requested the Department of National ID and Civil Registration to develop a model act to manage the CEF at the local level. Eventually in June 2018, Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development endorsed a model act for social security for orphaned and other vulnerable children based on Save the Children initiated Child Endowment Fund (CEF). For more detail click on this link
Based on the effectiveness of the Child Endowment Fund and its positive impact on orphaned children’s lives, Bagmati Province has announced a new provincial level social protection program for orphaned children in 2020 which will cover around 2000 children.
Meanwhile Save the Children also supported the then Central Child Welfare Board (now NCRC) to carry out study on the status of the orphan children in Nepal, which has acted as a foundation to initiate social protection of orphans and other vulnerable children in Nepal.
Authored by Bishwa Ratna Pun, Project Manager - Child Sensitive Social Protection.
Photo: Save the Children/Robic Upadhyay