Nepal pledges to end hunger by 2025
The Government of Nepal, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has today launched a National Action Plan to eradicate hunger from the country by 2025.
The National Action Plan on the Zero Hunger Initiative in Nepal (2016 – 2025) was launched jointly by Nepalese Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli and FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu.
The National Action Plan was prepared by the Ministry of Agricultural Development in collaboration with the United Nations and with the technical support of FAO. Nepal’s initiative to eradicate hunger in the country is in line with the Zero Hunger Challenge declared by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2012.
During his remarks, Prime Minister Oli said Nepal was one of a very few countries with "food sovereignty and right to food" enshrined in its Constitution. Adopting the Zero Hunger Challenge and implementing this National Action Plan to meet such a challenge in the country is both pertinent and timely.
Prime Minister Oli said that poverty and hunger are humiliating factors for all humanity in the 21st century. “I would like to make a serious commitment that malnutrition will be eliminated within ten years,” the Prime Minister said, further adding that as head of the Government of Nepal he is fully committed to provide support for ending hunger in the country by 2025.
The FAO Director–General, a Guest of Honour at the launching event, acknowledged Nepal’s high-level political will as well as its commitment in setting hunger and poverty eradication targets in its national priority agenda. He further acknowledged that the National Action Plan is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the international community last year.
The Director-General said FAO would continue supporting the Government of Nepal and development partners to materialize the targets set under the National Action Plan.
Collaboration and coordination key to meeting the 2025 deadline
Haribol Prasad Gajural, Minister for Agricultural Development pointed out that the Ministry is already heading towards the goal of eradicating hunger through its approval of the Agriculture Development Strategy, and the recently declared 27-Points commitment, which aim to make the country self-reliant in agriculture production.
Yuva Raj Khatiwada, Vice Chairperson of the National Planning Commission highlighted the importance of the National Action Plan in the context of Nepal’s desire to upgrade its current status of least developed country to a developing country by 2022. He said addressing the challenge of eradicating hunger will create the foundation for this milestone to be accomplished. He emphasized its relevance in the context of overcoming the challenge of hunger and rehabilitation posed by the devastating earthquake of April 2015.
Uttam Kumar Bhattarai, Secretary of the Ministry of Agricultural Development, said the preparation of the National Action Plan has provided a common institutional platform for related stakeholders in designing, implementing and coordinating the annual plans to meet the food and nutrition security targets of the country.
Michael Jones, United Nations’ Resident Coordinator emphasized the need of building synergy among related development partners to ensure the plan’s successful accomplishment. He said that while Nepal has been successful in reducing poverty over the past few years, eradicating hunger by 2025 could still be a big challenge for the country to maintain the momentum of progress towards the envisaged direction. He suggested running fund-raising campaigns among the concurring institutional support groups for successful implementation of the planned targets.