Nepal makes significant progress in achieving MDGs
Nepal has made significant progress in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and is on track to achieve five of the eight goals by the 2015 deadline, a process report on MDGs released in Kathmandu on Tuesday reported.
Rabindra Kumar Shakya, vice-chairman of National Planning Commission, releases the Nepal's 2013 progress report for Millennium Development Goals at a program organised on Tuesday in Kathmandu.
The report, 'Nepal Millennium Development Goals: Progress Report 2013' has been jointly prepared by National Planning Commission (NPC) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). It states that Nepal is likely to achieve MDGs targets for poverty and hunger, universal primary education, gender equality and women's empowerment, child mortality, and maternal health are likely to be achieved. Meanwhile, targets for HIV/AIDS, malaria and other disease, environmental sustainability and global partnership are unlikely to be achieved.
“We are on the way to achieve most of the MDGs but need the continue efforts from all sectors,” said Dr. Rabindra Kumar Shakya, vice-chairman of National Planning Commission as he released the report.
The report commends Nepal’s efforts and achievement to meet its MDGs despite the decade-long armed conflict and political instability. UN Resident Coordinator, Jamie McGoldrick, expressed happiness over the Nepal's progress in achieving MDGs, adding that it is remarkable considering the political and social challenges prevailing in the country.
According to the report, the average rate of decline in poverty between 2005 and 2013 has been about one percent annually, and 21 percent target for 2015 can be easily achieved if this rate is sustained. The proportion of the population below the national poverty line in Nepal was 42 percent in 1990 and 25.4 percent in 2010, and has come down to 23.82 percent in 2013.
Nepal has made strides in improving primary education, raising the percentage of enrollment from only 64 percent in 1990 to 95.30 percent in 2013.
Nepal’s position in child and maternal health-related MDGs are commendable. The goal to decrease child mortality rate in under five to 54 per 1000 live births was achieved in 2011. Nepal was supposed to decrease maternal mortality ratio to 213 (per 100,000 live births) by 2015, but the ratio is already at 170 in 2013.
However, spokesperson of National Women Commission, Mohana Ansari, commented that these achievements have not been distributed proportionally in geographically in marginalized communities and backward societies.
The report emphasis on decentralized governance, community mobilisation and targeted programs to achieve and sustain social targets--while offering solutions to ensure full employment and eliminate hunger in a sustained manner.
While highlighting the progress, the report also raises alarm over certain critical issues, such as growing disparity and a high level of exclusion within Nepali society. It cautions on the vulnerability of the Nepali economy, including dependence on remittance.
Nepal one of 189 countries committed to the MDGs, a pledge it has renewed in its national development plans. The primary medium-term strategy and implementation plan, and the Tenth Plan (Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper-2002/03-2006/07) incorporated the MDGs into its strategic framework.
The eight goals included MDGs are drawn from the actions and targets contained in the Millennium Declaration that was adopted by 189 nations-and signed by 147 heads of state and governments during the UN Millennium Summit in September 2, 2000. Nepalnews.com/Kishor Poudel