Poverty in Nepal declines - news

Teej festival - Pashipatinath nabij Kathmandu

Poverty in Nepal declines - news

Poverty declines by 11 per cent

Propelled by remittance-supported consumption and increased income of agricultural labor, among others, the national incidence of poverty has recorded a whopping 11 percentage point decline in the last eight years. Releasing the findings of the Nepal Living Standard Survey (NLSS) 2003/04, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), however, said the level of inequality has widened during the period. 

The report disseminated on Wednesday has reckoned that Nepals poverty headcount has declined top 30.85 percent in 2003/04 from 41.76 percent in 1995/96. In addition to the high inflow if remittance and high wage for agriculture laborers, massive increment in economically active population, rapid urbanization and increase in non-farm income are other influential factors behind the decline in poverty, stated the findings.  Urban areas recorded a high of 12 percent point decline in poverty situation to 9.6 percent, while the poverty level in the rural area declined by 8.7 percent to 34.6 percent stated the report. Indicating a high increment in income, real private per capita consumption increased by 42 percent over the period.  Among the rural areas, the western Terai recorded the highest increase of 45 percent in per-capita expenditure while the eastern hill areas recorded the lowest just 5 percent.
Interestingly, female-headed households have a low incidence of poverty (23.8 percent) compared to make-headed household (around 32 percent).  In the demographic composition of poverty, the report has found that household size of seven or more has the highest poverty incidence of 41.4 percent while it was just 20 percent for a household consisting of four members.
The report, which was conducted with the technical and financial support of the World Bank and DFID has found that land-ownership is the crucial factor of the incidence of poverty.  According to the report, 39 percent of the people having less than 0.2 hectares of land are poor while the poverty incidence among people having more than two hectares of land was just 24 percent.
Similarly, illiterate households have the highest poverty rate, touching 42 percent.  The poverty incidence of households with over eleven years of schooling is just 1.6 percent. Speaking to a program organized to disseminate the findings of the results of poverty analysis of the second NLSS, Dr. Shankar Sharma, vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission, claimed that Nepal has achieved the most speedy poverty reduction among the least developed countries.He also warned that any decline in foreign aid would jeopardize the recent remarkable achievements made in reducing poverty.


The Kathmandu Post, May 5, 2005



keyterms: Nepal, poverty , world bank, remittance













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