Nepal is a landlocked country surrounded by India and China. Geographically, it can be divided into three distinct belts - the mountains in the north, the hills in the middle and the plain of the terain to the south. The predominance of rugged mountainous areas has made the development of transport and communications extremely difficult.
Even today a large part of the country remains inaccessible by modern transport and communications; essential goods and information cannot reach remote areas in a timely manner. The most remote and poorest districts have an additional burden. They have to depend on outside economies, paying two to three times more for essential goods. The costs of medicines and other basic necessities are often beyond the means of the poor in remote regions.
Nepal is a land of diversity with marked multi-ethnic characteristics. Approximately 55% of the population comprises indigenous Nepali speakers. Nepal is a Hindu kingdom with a social system characterized by the centrality of the family with factors such as caste and religion having significant impact on the lives of the people.