Nepal human development report released

Kathmandu, May 15 (IANS): Nepal Thursday released its 2014 Human Development Report, titled 'Beyond Geography, Unlocking Human Potential', in Kathmandu.

The report came after Nepal had committed to developing from a least developed to a middle-income country by 2022.

For the first time in Nepal, the report attempts to assess productive capability at the levels of regions, households and individuals as determined by development efforts of the last two decades, Xinhua reported.

"Human development is all about expanding capabilities and unlocking human potential uniformly across all regions and social groups," Pitamber Sharma, team leader of the Nepal Human Development Report 2014, said.

The report calls for enhancing skills of the population while bridging the regional and group divide.

Sharma noted that even though human development index (HDI) values have improved over the years, inequalities based on geography, social groups, gender and household well-being persist in the Himalayan nation.

In an interview with Xinhua, Sharma particularly stressed on the need for creating a bridge linking prospective employers with skilled population.

"Nowadays, a large proportion of the working age population is employed in occupations which are not matching their true abilities," he said.

He added that Nepal must make sure that labour migrants were safe and fairly remunerated. Similarly, UN Assistant Secretary General and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Regional Director Haoliang Xu, in a visit to Nepal, underlined the importance of converting the country's human resources potential into a reality.

"The report clearly estimates the capacity of Nepal's youth in contributing to economic growth. However, the report also finds that existing capacities are not being fully utilised," Xu said during the launching ceremony of the report.

"The right people are not working at the right jobs and putting in the right number of hours," he said, adding that the mismatch between youth potential and actual employment status must be addressed quickly.

Govind Raj Pokharel, who was recently appointed as the vice-chair of Nepal's National Planning Commission, said that the report was a huge intellectual contribution to the development debate of Nepal.

"The government will make efforts to implement the recommendations of the report for high-quality and inclusive growth in view of Nepal's commitment to graduating from a least developed country to a developing country by 2022," Pokharel said.

He added that Nepal needed to strengthen its inclusive growth development strategies -- widen and deepen them -- to "unlock the human potential beyond geography."

UN Resident Coordinator Jamie McGoldrick said that even though Nepal was a "star-performer globally" in terms of the progress made in relation to the HDI, the journey ahead is going to be long and difficult.

"The easy part has been done, the difficult part remains," he said, echoing the words of Nepali economist Gopal Baidya.

The Nepal Human Development Report 2014 is a joint effort of the National Planning Commission and the UNDP.


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