KATHMANDU, Dec 13: Nepal attained a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.587 in 2019, an inch up from the index of 0.579 in 2018.
Nepal Human Development Report 2020 unveiled by the National Planning Commission on Sunday shows that in the past three decades, Nepal gained from 0.378 in 1990 to the present status of the HDI. However, it still fails to achieve a notable growth in per capita income, hindering the country from getting promoted from its current status of least development, reads the report with the theme ‘Beyond Graduation: Productive Transformation and Prosperity.’
The report commends Nepal for making ‘notable progress in human development’ but also warns that the COVID-19 crisis could reverse the achievement if not responded effectively. The report recommends implementing a comprehensive relief package accompanied by a medium to long term strategic plan to mitigate the crisis and build resilience.
It also shows the persisting inequality in human development in various regions of the country. While the HDI status in urban areas stands at 0.487, it is 0.431 in rural areas. Assessing the province wise statistics, Bagmati Province is at the highest level with a HDI of 0.502. Karnali Province has the lowest HDI of 0.375.
The United Nations Development Programme since 1990 has been publishing the report of human progress every year. It considers three dimensions of human development — long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living.
Besides, it also assesses improvement in productive capacity along with the productive transformation connected to social, economic and environmental aspects. These are sought to be utilized to address the root causes of structural barriers and vulnerabilities for the country to upgrade for graduating from the status of a least developed country through complying with the acceleration of issues related to Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaking at a virtual launch event of the Nepal-specific report, Finance Minister Bishnu Prasad Paudel said the report provides important policy directions to help the government shape its future development efforts in a way that promotes a more equitable and sustainable development. “The report will also be helpful in the government’s efforts to realize the Sustainable Development Goals,” Paudel added.