Constituent Assembly members form MDGs task force to fight against poverty

08 Sep 2009

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The Constituent Assembly members have formed a team of ten to champion the cause of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) inside the Parliament and in their respective constituencies, supported by the United Nations Millennium Campaign. The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Mr. Robert Piper met the CA members recently and briefed them on the importance of MDGs for Nepal.

In the meeting, the CA members representing diverse political parties such as ethnicity, region and religion shared experiences of their own constituencies in terms of education, health and the basic needs of people.

Hon’ble Karima Begum representing the Madheshi Janadhikar Forum (Gachchadhar group) and the newly inducted State Agriculture Minister shared “education is secondary for people in her village as they are more focused towards providing two square meals a day for their family.”

Nabodita Chaudhary of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party said that livelihood opportunities through skill development trainings are important for people in her constituency (Sunsari).

Speaking on the indicators of the MDGs for Nepal, Mr. Piper said, “Even though Nepal is on track to achieve most of the goals except for hunger and malnutrition, it should not be taken at face value. For example, poverty has come down from 42 percent in 1995 to 21 percent in 2005 but there is inequality in the distribution of wealth. While poverty incidence is the highest in the mid and far western region (45 and 41 percent respectively), it is only 3% in Kathmandu. It is the same between various marginalized castes.”

He further added, “The success of MDGs is crucial and very relevant for durable peace in Nepal. The 23 targets and 58 indicators of MDGs is a good match with the fundamental issues of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.”

The ten CA members are committed to advocate and campaign for the MDGs inside as well as outside the Parliament. This CA members’ team consists of State Minister for Agriculture Karima Begum, Gagan Thapa, Rajendra Khetan, Rabindra Adhikary, Barsa Man Pun, Raj Kaji Maharjan, Sita Gurung, Nabodita Chaudhary, Abhishek Pratap Shah and Gayatri Shah.