Investment in youths key to progress, says UNFPAThe United Nations Population Fund has said that Nepal’s aspiration to become a middle-income country and to attain the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 depends on investment in its young people, including teenage girls, which is also the theme of this year’s World Population Day.
The United Nations Population Fund has said that Nepal’s aspiration to become a middle-income country and to attain the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 depends on investment in its young people, including teenage girls, which is also the theme of this year’s World Population Day.
With the largest proportion of young people in its current demographic structure, Nepal is poised to reap a demographic dividend–the accelerated development that can arise when a population has a relatively large proportion of working-age people coupled with effective human capital investment, the UN agency said in a statement.
“Even for this to happen, we need to shine the light on why investment in young people, particularly teenage girls, is essential,” the statement said, “how fast Nepal can graduate from a Least Developing Country category and how much the country stands to gain from the current demographic window of opportunity depends on how much is invested in the empowerment, education, life skills and health and well-being of teenagers and particularly teenage girls.”
Across Nepal, said the UN agency, there are more than six million teenagers of which about half are girls—one fourth of the country’s total population. “That equals to over three million opportunities for development. However, many teenage girls, particularly in remote areas, face more and greater challenges than their male counterparts.”
The new 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is an unprecedented opportunity for teenage girls to claim their rights, fulfil their responsibilities, realise their aspirations and transform our world, the statement read. “When we invest in the health and education of young people, especially teenage girls, and create opportunities for them to realise their full potential, they are also better positioned to realise the demographic dividend, which can help Nepal achieve a high economic growth to combat poverty and ensure,” it added. “Thus Nepal’s progress towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals and graduation from a LDC country depends on how well we support and invest in teenage girls.”