Enabling State Programme (ESP)

Enabling State Programme (ESP) is taking an innovative approach to addressing the problems of governance in Nepal . Particularly, it seeks to avoid the common problem experienced by many donor-funded projects of poor national ownership and the imposition of external ideas.

ESP was launched in January 2001 by the Government of Nep al and the UK Department for International Development (DFID). ESP activities actually started in 1998, some two years before the official launch, following a governance assessment commissioned by DFID. ESP partnership with Freedom Forum has especially centered on the promotion of democracy and good governance.

British Embassy , Nepal

The history of official relations between the United Kingdom and Nepal dates back to 1816, a year after the Sugauli Treaty was signed on 2 December 1815 . The first resident Representative was Mr E Gardner, succeeded by Brian Houghton Hodgson in 1829.

Relations between the two countries took a major step forward in 185 2 with the visit to the United Kingdom of Jung Bahadur Rana, the Prime Minister of Nepal, whose family went on to rule as hereditary prime ministers for one hundred years. In 1855, he signed a new treaty with the British government in India , covering issues such as extradition.

In 1923, it was during the time of Prime Minister Chandra Shumsher that the status of the British Resident was changed to Envoy.

Indian independence in 1947 resulted in further changes to the Embassy. The British Envoy became for the first time a full Ambassador, and the large Embassy compound was split, with the larger part, including most of the office and residential buildings passing to the new government of India .

Since then, relations between the two countries have continued to grow. In 1950, a new Treaty of Perpetual Peace and Friendship was signed. This expanded areas of cooperation, and an exchange of State Visits: HM King Mahendra visited the United Kingdom in 1960 and the British Queen visited Nepal in 1961 – the first visit by a British monarch to Nepal .

Amicable relations continue today; Nepal continues to be the source of recruitment of Gurkha soldiers into the British army – a tradition dating back to the nineteenth century but still an essential part of Britain 's modern army - and the United Kingdom remains one of the most significant providers of development assistance to Nepal .

ritain is the second largest bilateral donor to Nepal after Japan , and fourth overall after the World Bank and Asian Development Bank. The bilateral aid programme for 2004/05 was around £32m and is continuing into 2005/06 subject to review. The programme aims to reduce poverty and social exclusion, establishing the basis for lasting peace. (Source: British Embassy website)