28.6 per cent of Nepal’s population is multi-dimensionally poor – MPI report

Kathmandu: The Nepal Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report showed that about 28.6 per cent of Nepal’s population is multi-dimensionally poor.

The MPI was, first of its kind, survey conducted in Nepal to calculate the level of poverty dimensions.

The indicators that contribute most to multidimensional poverty in Nepal are under-nutrition and households that lack any members who has completed five years of schooling.

This report was prepared under the National Planning Commission (NPC) in cooperation with the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at the University of Oxford.

A unique feature of this report is that Nepal MPI can be disaggregated by the newly formed seven provinces of Nepal.

The report presents MPI using latest date from the Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2014. Following the indicators of the global MPI, Nepal MPI includes three dimensions of health, education and living standards and 10 indicators. The indicators include- nutrition, child mortality, years of schooling, school attendance, cooking fuel, improve sanitation, safe drinking water, electricity, flooring and roofing and assets.

The report showed that 7 per cent of the urban population and 33 per cent of the rural population are multidimensional poor.

Similarly, the report showed provinces 6 and 2 have the highest rate of multidimensional poverty-with every second person being multidimensional poor (50 per cent)-followed by provinces 5 and 7 approximately 30 per cent.

The major contributing indicators to overall poverty in rural Nepal are malnutrition and insufficient years of schooling.

The report showed that ground-breaking and continuous progress has been made in reducing multidimensional poverty.

According to strictly harmonised data, Nepal halved its MPI 2006-2014. The incidence of multidimensional poverty has gone down from 59 per cent in 2006 to 39 per cent in 2011 and 29 per cent in 2014.

Presenting a report Sabina Alkire, director OPHI, University of Oxford said that this report presents not only the level of and trends in poverty but also its composition by dimensions.

“From this perspective of planning and policy design, this information from the MPI can be used to target poor people and groups, allocate resources to have the biggest poverty impact, coordinate multi-sectoral policies and to manage interventions and make evidence based policy adjustments that accelerate impact,” she said.

Across provinces, the poorest of which are in province 2 and 6 the poorer provinces often saw faster poverty reduction.

She expressed her hope that Nepal’s MPI will further support energetic public action to confront and end poverty in all its dimensions.

Vice-president of NPC Dr Swarnim Wagle said that this empirical and analytical study should be useful for the government, especially the provincial governments as they take office for the first time, enabling them to accelerate poverty reduction by seeing the different forms it takes in each province.