New Assessment shows way to MDGs

17 Oct 2006

Development space must be protected if Goals are to be met:UN

17 October, 2006 Kathmandu - A new assessment detailing what it will take for Nepal to reach the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015 was presented by the National Planning Commission and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to Government, donors and the media at Singha Durbar (Government House) earlier today.

The Millennium Development Goals Needs Assessment for Nepal shows that the Government must make a public investment of US$ 12.6 billion over the next decade if the Goals are to be reached. More than half that money must be channelled to reducing hunger, improving education and, critically, developing infrastructure. A poor transport network, lack of market access and limited electricity is hindering growth, especially in rural areas where most Nepalis live.

'It is clear that Nepal can meet the Goals,' UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative Matthew Kahane said. 'But we must focus on the key challenges identified in the Needs Assessment: protect development space, significantly improve infrastructure, especially in rural areas, and invest heavily to reduce hunger and boost education, especially for girls,' he said.

The Report shows that donors must double their funding for development in Nepal over the next ten years. 'I believe the international community is willing to invest in well-planned, well-managed and well-monitored national efforts. But this willingness must be complemented by an environment where national development initiatives can be carried out impartially and transparently, without threat or intimidation,' Mr. Kahane said.

Since April 2006, violations of the Basic Operating Guidelines have risen sharply, holding back critical activities intended to deliver services to Nepal's most vulnerable groups and eroding donor confidence. 'National programmes reaching every part of the country are essential and they need real and practical consensus among political forces at the national and local levels,' he said.

'This climate of uncertainty must be addressed if Nepal is to secure greater confidence within the international community, and achieve the Millennium Development Goals within nine years,' Mr. Kahane said.

END

Note to Editors:

Adopted in 2004, the Basic Operating Guidelines (BOGs) are the main mechanism the UN and donors have for protecting operating space. They are based on established and accepted humanitarian principles and international legal standards. They protect the interest of the conflict-affected population and the safety and security of UN, donor and NGO staff. Download a copy of the UN Agencies and donor's BOGs: http://www.un.org.np

81% of the total BOGs violations reported during the past 12 months (October 2005 to September 2006) were reported between April and September 2006.

The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are the world's time-bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions'income poverty, hunger, disease, lack of adequate shelter and exclusion'while promoting gender equality, education and environmental sustainability. These are basic human rights.

The Millennium Development Goals Needs Assessment for Nepal has been produced by the National Planning Commission and UNDP. It takes stock of required financing for development in order for Nepal to reach the MDGs.

Contact Information

For further information please contact: Lisa Hiller (+977-1 5523200 ext: 1060, mob: +977 98510 12133), or Sangita Khadka (+977-1 5523200 ext: 1077, mob: +977 98510 81114).