Poverty Reduction


Nepal has made successful strides in reducing poverty from 25.2 percent in 2011 to 21.6 percent in 2015. But these numbers belie a harsh reality: huge disparities and inequalities persist between regions and social groups. Underdeveloped trade and industry, low agricultural productivity, and lack of access to affordable credit are among the key factors contributing to high unemployment rates and the relative weakness of Nepal’s economy. The massive earthquake in April 2015 further undermined efforts to reduce poverty by taking lives of thousands, and destroying public and private infrastructures worth billions of dollars. An estimated additional 700,000 people were pushed back to poverty, while thousands more lost their livelihood opportunities for decent living.

Our goals

Nepal has tremendous potential for development and subsequent job creation through sustainable use of natural resource-based enterprises in the rural areas, where 80 percent of the population lives. However, lack of awareness, education and skills to utilize existing resources continues to perpetuate underemployment and underdevelopment. Nepal also has vast hydro potential, yet 30 percent of its population has no access to electricity. To help address challenges and tap opportunities, UNDP’s work in Nepal on poverty and sustainable development has been designed around three broad pillars: employment creation, access to energy and policy support in pro-poor development planning and monitoring.more

A group meeting facilitated by LRP

Much of UNDP's efforts in poverty reduction is targeted towards the most disadvantaged communities.more

Our Stories

Photo: Sanjay Pariyar/UNDP Nepal
Women show the way

Eight young women entrepreneurs, armed with determination and confidence in their skills, prove to be role models for their village flattened by the April 2015 earthquake. more 

Community celebrate the resupply of water with UNDP assistance at Patlekhet, Kavre
When the water dried up: UNDP helps a community restore its access to water

When the earthquake struck Nepal one year ago 25 April, the community of Kimpokhari in Kavre lost many loved ones, homes and infrastructure. They also lostmore 

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Projects and Initiatives

  • Micro Enterprise Development Programme (Phase IV)

    The Micro enterprise Development Programme is creating employment and income opportunities for the rural poor by providing skill and business training and other support, mainly for women and poor and disadvantaged people to set up micro-enterprises; helping establish business support services and representative organisations for micro-entrepreneurs; and working with the government to improve the policy environment.more 

  • The Developing Capacities for Effective Aid Management and Coordination project helps localise the Paris Principles to make official development assistance produce more results. It will assist the Government to implement the recommendations of the 2007 and 2010 surveys and help establish the mechanisms for involving all main stakeholders in more effectively managing aid.more 

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