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Poverty in Nepal: Characteristics and Challenges
The official data as of 2010/11 affirms around 25 percent Nepali live under absolute poverty line. The poverty line is derived at annual per capita earning of $225 as of 2013 December. There are debates whether the poverty line really defines basic necessities of survival. On contrary, the Human Poverty Index shows 44 percent of Nepali are deprived of basic education, health and access to resources. Achieving sustainable human development is highly regarded and committed development goal in Nepal as elsewhere. However, the existing poverty indicators are putting a serve challenge how really these goals can be achieved by a defined target of 2020. Distribution of poverty across the country varies with high severity in rural mountain and low in urban areas. Despite illustrating development efforts, there is still a sharp divide in development inputs, process and outcomes. The development policies of Nepal have less room to criticise. However, the implementation status and results explain different but gloomy phenomenon. Being poor means having multiple characteristics which denies recognition, share in resources and opportunities, participation in decision making and influencing the processes that affect themselves which as a result challenges their survival freedom. Empowering poor, disadvantaged and marginalized and developing their wealth asset including education, health and employment must be the central agenda of the development planning in Nepal in order to achieve sustainable human development.