© Helvetas


It all started in Nepal: Helvetas went operational in 1956 in the Himalayas. What began as small-scale aid to dairy and alpine farming has since become a multifaceted program in Nepal, funded through a variety of sources. Helvetas is entrusted with providing technical assistance to different SDC projects, and works closely with Nepal’s government in activities such as trail bridges, skills training for young people and improving crop yields of smallholder farmers. We also work on reducing disaster-related risks.
© Helvetas
  • Capital
  • Area
    147,181 km²
  • Poverty rate*
    15% of the population live under the poverty line of $1.90 per day
    Rank: 144 out of 188
  • Population
  • People supported per year
  • Thematic focus
    Environment and Climate Change
    Skills Development and Education
    Governance, Peace & Migration
    Sustainable and Inclusive Economies
    Gender and Social Equity
    Rural Access
* Source: UN Data

Helvetas started working in the field in 1956 in Nepal. A lot has changed since then in this landlocked country: over 8000 suspended footbridges attest today to the productive cooperation between Switzerland and Nepal. But providing technical advice on building bridges is only one of Helvetas’ strengths in Nepal. Our water projects show local communities better ways to protect and make the most of their water resources, including everything from supplying clean drinking water to building latrines and simple but efficient irrigation methods. We plan and execute these works together with the local population. The skilled work involved is carried out by local craftsmen. So the projects create new jobs.

New farming methods to increase productivity

Most of the rural population still farm for a living. But there is a lack of investment and, in the dry season, a shortage of water. The harvest often only barely suffices for the family to pull through. With Helvetas' support, small farmers develop new methods of cultivation and soil conservation – methods which, in turn, increase their crop yields. The families can then sell some surplus at the market. One opportunity for the landless is to grow vegetables in seasonally dried-out riverbeds. Now that they’ve switched to organic farming, coffee growers are even tapping national and international markets.

Vocational training for young people

Many young people in Nepal have learned no trade and can find no work as a result. Hundreds of thousands of laborers migrate to India, Malaysia and the Gulf States, where they are poorly paid and often discriminated against. By providing information about the risks and opportunities of migration, Helvetas prepares young people for going to work abroad as part of a SDC project. On the other hand, the organization also offers them an alternative at home in Nepal: in compact courses adapted to the demands of the current job market, they can learn skills that have a future. We support these young trainees in their entry into the labor market until they find a job or have their own micro-business up and running under their own steam.

Emergency response for earthquake victims

Our recent efforts in Nepal also address the risks of natural disasters, such as the devastating earthquake of April 25, 2015. Over 9000 people lost their lives and some 600,000 their homes. Helvetas provided emergency response in the immediate aftermath of the quake and has since been actively involved in rebuilding the country. Thousands of construction specialists receive training in quake-resistant building methods. Helvetas builds dwellings with toilets for families particularly hard hit by the disaster. We also work on restoring the water supply and rebuilding processing facilities and small-scale irrigation systems for coffee cooperatives and schools so that a kind of normal life can gradually resume in Nepal.

Visit the website of Helvetas Nepal.

Our Projects in Nepal

 If you would like to know more about our work in Nepal, click on each project for details.

Multimedia stories from Nepal

Changing Perspectives

Exercising his profession for a week in another country and getting to know the everyday life of his colleagues: this dream came true for four young plumbers from Switzerland and Nepal.

Daulima is Building her Future

One year after the earthquake in Nepal, Daulima is fighting for a new home.

The Rise of the Shahi Family

The history of the Sahi family shows that real change is possible. Not overnight, but from generation to generation.

Governance, Peace & Migration

In many countries where we work, men and women are unable to claim their rights and participate actively in decision-making processes.


The most vulnerable communities suffer from dirty and scarce water. Annually we help up to 500,000 people get new access to drinking water and basic sanitation.

Environment and Climate Change

Every year, we support over 1,000,000 people adapt to climate change, reduce the risks of disasters, sustainably manage natural resources, and conserve nature.

Lalitpur-3, Dhobighat
GPO 688 Kathmandu, Nepal

Phone:+977 1 552 49 26
Fax: +977 1 553 11 09
E-Mail: co.np@helvetas.org