Target of reducing poverty likely to be met
The National Planning Commission with UNDP's assistance is in the process of producing the MDGs Progress Report 2010 and consultations are on the way with the Government, donors, UN Agencies and civil society to finalize the report.
According to the draft report, Nepal is likely to meet the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) 1 of reducing poverty to 21 percent of the population by 2015 as it had already brought down the figure to 25 percent by 2008, with a decline rate of 1 percent annually. In 2005, the population below the poverty line was 31 percent.
Another positive trend outlined by the draft report is the declining proportion of employed people living on less than US$ 1 a day, from 24 percent in 2005 to 22 percent in 2008.
The report mentions the labour and employment policy, Foreign Employment Act, bilateral agreements for foreign employment and establishment of a welfare fund as favourable conditions to meet the target.
However, the report assesses that the goal of full and decent employment is unlikely to be met.
According to the Nepal Labour Force Survey 2008, as much as 30 percent of the total economically active population is underemployed. About 50 percent of the economically active population in urban areas is underemployed. There are large challenges in view of the continued slow down of the economy.
Regarding hunger, the country has been able to reduce the proportion of the undernourished population to 22.5 percent in 2010 from 39.9 percent in 2005.
The proportion of stunted children has also dropped from 55 percent in 2000 to 49 percent in 2010. The MDG target is to reduce it down to 29 percent.