Humla lies in Karnali Zone in Province 6 of Nepal. Simikot is the district headquarter. The district, with an area of 5,655 sq. km is divided into 27 VDCs. Humla has 9,479 households with a total population of 50,858 (Male 25,833 & Female 25,025).
The topography of the district consists of high mountains and as such road access is very limited. Simikot is not linked to the national road network and is connected to the neighbouring districts by foot trails and air transportation.
Agriculture (including livestock) and cottage industries are the main economic activities of the district. Agriculture is the major source of income for about 95.55% of the households. However, malnutrition rate in Humla is exceptionally high. Among the small and cottage industries registered, majority work in the agriculture and wildlife and service sector.
The district is served by five different branches of ‘A’ Class Commercial Banks. The population served per branch is 11,234 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.
Humla’s total population comprises of about 38.7% Chhetri, 19.64% Thakuris, 13.45% Tamang, 9.71 % Kamis followed by others, in terms of caste and ethnicity. Although discriminatory practices have been reduced in Humla after the decade-long insurgency, the change has not been significant. Women and Dalits are visible in school management and other district level committees, however, their representation is more symbolic than influential. Female literacy rate stands at just 4.8%, which clearly indicates that women lack the access to education facilities. As of 2013, 1,423 freed Haliya families have been registered in the district, of which 162 have been issued identity cards needed to receive rehabilitation support.
A major focus of Sakchyam is to help the financial institutions mainstream GESI principles. The programme will also attempt to increase access to financial services and products to women and other disadvantaged groups via innovative value chain financing tools in a manner that could improve their livelihoods and self-dependence.
Financial Literacy Initiatives
Through Sakchyam’s technical support, NUBL has conducted school level financial literacy campaigns. NUBL has also used IVR messages to disseminate messages in the district.