THT 10 years ago: Revamp pro-poor policies: Experts

Kathmandu, October 3, 2006

Senior economists have strongly recommended the government to review existing policies. “Government has to work vigorously with a new vision to build new Nepal, as a decadelong insurgency has affected the overall development process,” they said adding that it is crucial to bring disadvantaged group into the mainstream of development initiatives by advancing their capacities along with increased access to resources for them at a greater degree.

Dr Shankar Sharma, former vice-chairman of the National Planning Commission (NPC) expressed serious concerns over the government’s inability to distribute the resources among the poor people equally.

“Despite enough resources, poor people are yet to increase their access,” he said. “Therefore, poor people’s empowerment in the perspective of human development needs improvement.” “The government has allocated 51 per cent of the total budget in the social sector but the outcome is not as desired due to weak service delivery and institutional mechanism,” Sharma added.

“If we want to see equitable development and steady economic growth of the disadvantaged, there should be a level playing field,” said Sriram Raj Pande, assistant resident representative and senior advisor on Pro-Poor Policies, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

“Human development is a major tool to empower people,” he said stressing to make service delivery system more effective at all levels to counter conflict-hit development.

10.8pc women opt for abortion: Survey

Of the total pregnant women in Nepal, 10.8 per cent opt for abortion, according to statistics.

A survey conducted by the Nepal Family Planning Association (NFPA), Kaski, showed that 10.8 per cent opted for abortion in 2005. The statistics show 926,486 women conceive in Nepal every year.

The NFPA said pregnant women go to hospital, clinics run by the health assistants, private houses and abroad for abortion.

Altogether 64 districts in Nepal cater safe abortion services that include, government, non-governmental, medial colleges and private clinics, said chairman of the NFPA, Kaski, Divas Man Pradhananga.

Kaski district has three safe abortion centers, including one government and two non-governmental centres. Different problems arise while providing abortion services.

Lack of skilled manpower, lack of information on safe abortion, government apathy to control unsafe abortion, delay in decision-making make abortion complicated, said secretary of NFPA, Kaski, Anup Sigdel.

According to legal provisions, women who are up to 12 weeks pregnant can carry out abortion on their free will, while those who conceive through rape or rape by someone related by blood, abortion can be carried out even after 18 weeks.