Contact: Eithne Healy, Concern Press Office, Dublin ++ 353 1 417 7700, email@example.com
MEDIA ADVISORY, April 20 /Standard Newswire/ --Political progress in Nepal will bolster Concern's work in rural parts of the country.
Maoist former rebels have entered into a coalition government in Nepal which marks the end of the country's civil war. The historic news from Kathmandu has been hailed as a new start for the troubled country.
Up until last year's truce, the Maoists were engaged in a violent civil conflict with the state and were branded as terrorists. The decade long civil war cost over 13,000 lives and hindered development in what is now Asia's poorest country. Presently, the Maoists are being granted control of five ministries and will contest elections for a national assembly which have been set for 20 June.
"A new chapter has begun in the history of Nepal" Nepal's Prime Minister, GP Koirala, told the country.
Impact of conflict
The 10 year Maoist insurgency had a calamitous effect on many rural areas of Nepal. The country's mountainous terrain left many communities completely isolated during the civil war.
Peace and development
Concern's Linda Burns in Kathmandu says that peace in Nepal will allow for increased development in marginalised areas of Nepal, "The civil war has had a terrible effect on remote rural areas of Nepal. These areas have not had access to Government services for the last ten years. Peace will provide a chance for real development in Nepal."
What Concern is doing
Concern is working in extremely remote areas of Nepal, as Linda explains, "Getting to Concern's programme areas involves a one hour flight followed by a four to five day hike. Concern are working with communities to provide clean water to 7,000 people. We are also working with around 30,000 to provide greater access to food and markets. All of the people we are working with have been severely affected by the civil war over the last ten years."
Future political developments
The recent events come less than a year after the popular uprising that saw King Gyanendra stripped of his powers. The forming of an interim government paves the way for nationwide parliamentary elections in June which will determine Nepal's future course. The new government will then be charged with drawing up a new constitution and holding a referendum on the future of the monarchy, which the Maoists want abolished.