Government, UNDP launch Millennium Development Goals ' District Progress Reports

Mar 28, 2007

28 March, Kathmandu - The Government of Nepal and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) today jointly launched the Millennium Development Goals Progress Report for 5 districts of Nepal'Chitwan, Kanchanpur, Morang, Bhaktapur and Banke. Also, the report entitled 'Voices of the People on Development,' jointly produced by the Government of Nepal, UNDP and UNICEF was launched on the same occasion.

Launching the report, Dr. Jagadish Chandra Pokharel, Vice Chairman of the National Planning Commission said;
'The purpose of producing these reports is to localize the Millennium Development Goals at the district level, and internalising the thrust of the MDGs among the concerned stakeholders. It is expected that the district level indicators reported in the MDG District Progress Reports will immensely help in producing realistic district level periodic plans. The reports will also be a guiding document for the government while formulating the interim plan thereby moving towards achieving the nation's Millennium Development Goals'.

UNDP Resident Representative Mr Matthew Kahane said, 'The MDGs district progress reports are a basis to analyse whether the districts are really on track to meet the MDG targets and what issues need to be addressed in each district.' He further said, 'It is important for the progress reports to be taken further at the district level to stir debates and discussions among the local people.'

The reports also confirm the mid and far west being the most deprived regions. For example, the proportion of population below national poverty line in Kanchanpur district is seen four times as high as that of Bhaktapur district (36% vs. 9%). Similarly, the proportion of underweight children in Kanchanpur is two times as high as that of Bhaktapur district (50% vs. 25%).

Youth literacy rate is only 76 percent in Banke, whereas it is 95 percent in Bhaktapur district. Moreover, ratio of literate women to men is about one in Bhaktapur whereas it is just 0.8 percent in Kanchanpur district. The ratio of girls to boys in primary schooling is the lowest in Banke district (0.78) and highest again in Bhaktapur district (0.96). On the whole, from the view point of the MDGs the situation of the districts of the mid- and far-west development regions is worse than the districts of the other regions, and Bhaktapur is ranked as the best of all the five districts in terms of the most of the MDGs indicators.

Also launched today, the report entitled Voices of the People on Development is a collection of case studies aimed at helping the policy makers and public at large to understand the benefits, problems, challenges and issues regarding the status and achievements made in the areas of the MDGs through the experiences and voices of the ordinary people. This will help put the voices of the poor, marginalised and excluded in the planning ' quantitative average values of MDG indicators ' which generally come from large household surveys. This will also give feedback to the government organisations and other service providers for improving the service delivery to the needy people.

Reference: Millennium Development Goals Needs Assessment Report for Nepal, jointly produced by the Government of Nepal and UNDP was launched at the national level in October 2006. The 2006 needs assessment report shows that the government must make a public investment of US$ 12.6 billion over the next decade if the Goals are to be reached. More than half that money must be channelled to reducing hunger, improving education and, critically, developing infrastructure. A poor transport network, lack of market access and limited electricity is hindering growth, especially in rural areas where most Nepalese live. The Report shows that donors must double their funding for development in Nepal over the next ten years.

Contact informationFor more information pls. contact Sangita Khadka, Development Communications Officer, UNDP Nepal, 00-977-1-5523200/1077

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