The World Bank Group has lauded Nepal for the nation’s incredible feat of nearly halving the number of people living below the poverty line in only seven years.
In 2003-2004, nearly 53 percent of Nepal’s population was living in poverty. By 2010-2011, that number had been lowered to a mere 25 percent. This advantageous situation allows the country to attain potential stability, giving Nepal the opportunity to create domestic and foreign investments.
Taking advantage of the economic status, the country now must aim for more sustained growth. With the help of the World Bank, which recently launched a two-pillar Country Partnership Strategy for Nepal, the country will focus on growth in hydroelectricity generation, improving connectivity in transportation, enhancing the business environment, increasing productivity of the agriculture segment and giving equal access to health care. Finance Minister Ram Sharan Mahat says that this excellent strategy should primarily focus on increasing economic growth, “To boost economic growth, we must increase investment as well as efficiency of investment,” Mahat stated.
The World Bank also acknowledges economic growth as an essential requirement for Nepal, so to further reduce poverty and increase shared wealth, Mahat stated that it is a necessary requirement to focus on economic growth as well as an improved political status.
The hope is to graduate Nepal from the current least-developed country status into a developing country by 2022. According to the National Planning Commission, Nepal’s economy has the potential to grow 8 percent annually to achieve this goal by 2012.
The World Bank will also provide long- and short-term support to reduce barriers in the business sector of the country, specifically in industries such as tourism and agriculture. The World Bank will attempt to address all economic risks that arise from the rapid expansion the country plans to see among the coming years.
— Elizabeth Malfaro