Poverty rates ‘to go up’ this yearSophie Kemkhadze, deputy country director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said on Wednesday the April 25 earthquake and ongoing supply problems would push up poverty rates this year.
Sophie Kemkhadze, deputy country director of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), said on Wednesday the April 25 earthquake and ongoing supply problems would push up poverty rates this year.
“I see there would be a rise in structural poverty in Nepal as the reconstruction programme has been hampered by various problems,” she said, launching “The Least Developed Countries Report 2015: Transforming Rural Economies”.
The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) has estimated that the quake pushed 700,000 people into extreme poverty.
And a Nepal Rastra Bank study has projected that the India-imposed embargo and Tarai unrest would push more than 800,000 people into poverty. Nepal’s estimated poverty level was 23.8 percent as of 2014.
Baranes said poverty eradication would be the cornerstone for achieving development goals. Stating that infrastructure development was also an important factor for rural development, she said major infrastructure projects were badly hit by the existing supply side constraints.
Basudeb Guha-Khasnobis, resident senior economist of UNDP, said although there has been improvement in rural poverty, urban poverty has been growing.
“People escape from rural to urban areas seeking opportunities but they don’t achieve any. So, there is a need for development in rural areas so that people would not migrate to urban centres,” said Khasnobis.
The report presents a road map to address rural poverty, lack of progress in rural transformation and root causes of migration within and from the LDCs.
“In many LDCs, migration is triggered by rural poverty, reflecting the lack of economic opportunities to earn even a minimally adequate income,” said UNCTAD Secretary General Mukhisa Kituyi.