Discharge and rehabilitation continues
The discharge, which is scheduled to be completed in seven cantonments across the country by mid February 2010 is part of the 1612 Action Plan signed on 16 December 2009 by the Government of Nepal, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal - Maoist (UCPN-M) and the United Nations. To date, after completing 6 cantonments in Sindhuli, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, Ilam, Kailali and Surkhet districts, 2126 young people disqualified from the Maoist army as children or late recruits have been discharged.
UNDP and its partners in the UNCT have been providing technical and logistical support to the discharge process that began on 7 January 2010 in the Main Cantonment Site 2 (MCS 2), Maoist Army cantonment in Sindhuli district, southeast of Nepal?s capital Kathmandu.
Under the Assistance to the Peace Process in Nepal (APPN) project, UNDP support includes three internationals and about 40 national staffs, who work alongside other UN colleagues as members of the technical team. They verify the identity of dischargees, collect their Maoist Army ID cards and provide new ones that enable them to access rehabilitation packages, provide information on support programme and register their contact information and any concerns they might have, and provide them with a set of civilian clothing.
The discharged individuals will have access to a range of rehabilitation options which have been developed by UNICEF, UNFPA and UNDP, in consultation with the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction and UCPN-M. Four packages are offered ? formal education, up to Grade 12 (UNICEF); vocational training and support for small business development (UNDP); and health related trainings (UNFPA).
Financing for these packages will be provided from the UN Peace Fund for Nepal (UNPFN), which is supported by the Governments of Norway, Denmark, the United Kingdom, Switzerland and Canada and the UN Peace Building Fund.
Access to these packages supported by the three field offices will be offered up to 1 year after the discharge date.
In the coming months, a United Nations team will contact those discharged to monitor and assess how they are adjusting to civilian life. Nearly 3,000 of those disqualified were minors on 25 May 2006 at the time of the ceasefire. Today, about one dozen are under 16 years of age and roughly 500 are under 18. About a third are female.