District Overview

Darchula lies in Mahakali Zone in the Far-Western Development Region of Nepal. Khalanga is the district headquarter. The district, with an area of 2,322 sq. km is divided into 36 VDCs and one municipality. Darchula has 24,618 households with a total population of 133,274 (Male 63,605 & Female 69,669). Literacy Rate in the district is 65.4 percent .

Economic and Financial Landscape

Agriculture, including vegetable farming; livestock; poultry and cottage industries are the main economic activities of the district. Among the registered small and cottage industries, majority belong to the productive and service sector.

The district is served by eight different branches of ‘A’ Class Commercial Banks. The population served per branch is 17,464 against the national average of 8,960 . This indicates the need to further expand the outreach of financial services and facilities to the unbanked population of the area.

GESI Issues

The population of Darchula consists of 63.55% Chhetris, 16.71% Brahmin, 5.27% Kami, 4.85% Thakuri followed by others, based on caste or ethnicity. Deep rooted poverty and some caste based discrimination are the major problems of the district. Seasonal male migration to India has created additional responsibilities for women and has increased their workload. A key focus of Sakchyam is to increase the access to financial services and facilities for the rural poor of the district, particularly for women and other disadvantaged groups (DAGs).

Sakchyam’s Ongoing Interventions

Delivery Channel Innovations

  • The programme has been able to reach the unbanked population of the district through the launch of BLB Touch Points in partnerships with Mega Bank (one BLB) and Janata Bank (nine BLBs) in the district.

Outreach Expansion

  • New branches of FIs have been opened to increase financial access for rural poor via partnerships with Mega Bank (one branch), NUBL (one branch) and KMF (one branch).

Financial Literacy Initiatives

  • NUBL is conducting financial literacy campaigns through IVR.