Strategies to fight poverty discussed

Lalitpur, May 10:

A three-day long national workshop to review the progress of Poverty Alleviation Fund (PAF) kicked off in Lalitpur today.

The workshop aims at formulating the future strategy for activities targeted at poverty reduction in Nepal.

Addressing the workshop, Kenichi Ohashi, country director, World Bank said that the PAF performance has been well despite the difficult working conditions.

“Though there were difficulties related to the security and political situation in Nepal, PAF has been successful in reaching out to people at large to help mitigate poverty in the country,” he said. Ohashi also stressed on the need to continue PAF initiatives following political changes in the country.

“The fundamental philosophy of PAF is robust. This holds true not only in the case of Nepal but also in other countries where similar kinds of projects are underway for poverty eradication,” Ohashi said. He also said that PAF has been one of the better performing projects of the World Bank in Nepal.

Ram Krishna Tiwari, secretary at the National Planning Commission (NPC), said that the outcome of the workshop would help formulate the 11th five-year national development plan. “The one and half years of PAF experience in mitigating poverty in Nepal would be of immense importance to the preparation of future development plans,” he said.

Representatives from the grass root level from six pilot districts of Mugu, Darchula, Pyuthan, Sarlahi, Ramechhap and Kapilbastu, partner organisations, officials from various NGOs, representatives from World Bank, NPC, ministry of local development, ministry of finance and other stakeholders are taking part in the three day long workshop.

The workshop is set to discuss the lessons learned while implementing various projects in the six pilot districts especially areas like capacity building, income generation, social mobilisation and development of community infrastructure.

Other issues like process and modality of mobilising a revolving fund at community level, livestock insurance, long term sustainability of community organisations, landless communities, strengthening NGOs and ownership amongst community members are being discussed at the meeting.