29% Nepalis living in multi-dimensional poverty: Report

By A Staff Reporter

Kathmandu, Dec.21:A report of Nepal Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) has shown that about 28.6 per cent of Nepal’s population is multi-dimensionally poor.
The Nepal MPI survey, the first of its kind conducted in Nepal to calculate the level of poverty dimensions, was unveiled by the National Planning Commission on Wednesday.
The indicators that contribute most to multi-dimensional poverty in Nepal are under-nutrition and households which lack a family member who has completed five years of schooling.
This report was prepared by the NPC in cooperation with the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at the University of Oxford.
The report presents MPI using the latest data from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2014.
Following the indicators of the global MPI, Nepal MPI includes three dimensions of health, education and living standards and 10 indicators. The indicators include nutrition, child mortality, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, improve sanitation, safe drinking water, electricity, flooring and roofing and assets.
The report showed that 7 per cent of the urban population and 33 per cent of the rural population are multidimensional poor.
The report showed that children up to nine years of age belong to the poorest group whereas 41.6 per cent children are in multidimensional poverty group.
Similarly, the report showed Provinces 6 and 2 have the highest rate of multi-dimensional poverty -- with every second person being multi-dimensionally poor (50 per cent) -- followed by Provinces 5 and 7 approximately 30 per cent.
Province 3 has the lowest MPI of any province at 12. 24 per cent while Provinces 1 and 4 have a rate of poverty of 19.67 per cent and 14.19 per cent respectively.
The major contributing indicators to the overall poverty in rural Nepal are malnutrition and insufficient years of schooling.
The report showed that ground-breaking and continuous progress has been made in reducing multi-dimensional poverty.
According to strictly harmonised data, Nepal halved its MPI during 2006-2014. The incidence of multi-dimensional poverty has gone down from 59 per cent in 2006 to 39 per cent in 2011 and 29 per cent in 2014.
Vice-chairman of NPC Dr. Swarnim Wagle said that this empirical and analytical study should be useful for the government, especially the provincial governments as they take office for the first time, enabling them to accelerate poverty reduction by seeing the different forms it takes in each province.
Presenting the report, Dr. Sabina Alkire, director OPHI, University of Oxford, said that the report presents not only the level of and trends in poverty but also its composition by dimensions.
“From this perspective of planning and policy design, this information from the MPI can be used to target poor people and groups, allocate resources to have the biggest poverty impact, coordinate multi-sectoral policies and to manage interventions and make evidence-based policy adjustments that accelerate impact,” she said.
She expressed her hope that Nepal’s MPI would further support energetic public action to confront and end poverty in all its dimensions.

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