Distribution of ID cards for poor under way

Kathmandu, January 15

The government has started distributing ‘poor identity card’ to people living in abject poverty in different parts of the country.

The Ministry of Cooperative and Poverty Alleviation (MoCPA) is currently distributing such ID cards to people identified as ‘poor’ in five districts, namely Kailali, Sindhuli, Bajura, Baglung and Rauthat in the first phase.

As a part of government’s plan to issue poor identity cards, the government had earlier carried out surveys in 25 districts to identify people living below the poverty line. As per the government survey, there are 1.28 million people living in abject poverty in these districts.

“We have recently started issuing such ID cards to people who have been identified as poor. Though limited to only five districts at present, we will soon distribute such ID cards in the remaining 20 districts as well,” said Gopi Mainali, secretary at MoCPA.

Mainali said that the local governments have been issuing such ID cards to poor people in coordination with MoCPA.

As per MoCPA, the people who have been identified as poor by the government can apply for such ID cards at local government offices.

The Poor Household Support Coordination Board had conducted a survey last year and identified 391,831 poor households in 25 districts. Among them, 188,226 households were categorised as ‘extremely poor’ while 119,761 households were categorised as ‘medium poor.’ Similarly, 83,844 households had been classified as ‘general poor’.

Though the government is yet to decide the privileges that the identified ‘poor’ people will receive, Mainali said that programmes of governmental and non-governmental organisations related to poverty alleviation will be launched targeting holders of poor ID cards in the future.

“Till date, the programmes targeted at poor people were initiated in the rural areas without any proper knowledge about who they were. From now on, it will be easier for the governmental and non-governmental agencies to introduce programmes related to poverty alleviation on the basis of such ID cardholders in specific areas,” added Mainali.