Nepal faces Rs 585 billion annual shortfall for SDGs investment

KATHMANDU: Nepal finds itself falling short of the targets set for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), primarily due to a lack of adequate financial resources allocated to the crucial sectors.

Damodar Gyawali, the national consultant for SDGs in Nepal, reveals that the country is making progress of only 59.7 percent across 17 sectors by the year 2030.

The ambitious initiative launched by the United Nations in 2016 now stands at the midpoint of its designated timeline.

The National Planning Commission (NPC) estimates that an annual investment of Rs 1.1 trillion is required from the government alone between 2016 and 2030 to meet the SDG targets.

However, Nepal faces an annual deficit of approximately Rs 585 billion, creating a substantial investment gap.

Predictions from the NPC’s data indicate that over the course of the next five years, from 2026 to 2030, Nepal will confront a yearly shortage exceeding Rs 1 trillion.

Presently, the government has earmarked just Rs 400 billion for SDG-related initiatives in the fiscal year 2023/24.

Collaboratively organized by the Government of Nepal, the NPC, and the United Nations in Nepal, the SDGs Acceleration Visioning Workshop was held to rally support for the SDGs.

Taking place in anticipation of the SDG Summit scheduled for September, the workshop aimed to evaluate Nepal’s progress towards SDG attainment, identify priority sectors for acceleration, and outline a strategic roadmap for actionable steps.

The SDGs encompass a broad range of objectives, including poverty reduction, inequality mitigation, quality education provision, and environmental preservation, among others. In pursuit of these goals, a comprehensive set of 301 indicators has been established. However, despite the overarching intent to eradicate poverty, Nepal’s progress stands at a modest 75.1 percent.

Hanaa Singer Hamdy, the UN Resident Coordinator in Nepal, emphasizes the uphill journey that lies ahead for global and Nepalese SDG achievement. She conveys optimism, stating, “The road ahead to achieve the SDGs globally and in Nepal is still a bit steep. But it is one we can, must, and will achieve – together – and for the people we serve from all parts of this incredibly beautiful country.”

Min Bahadur Shrestha, vice-chair of the NPC, asserts that the Government of Nepal is wholeheartedly integrating the SDGs within the current 15th plan and its ongoing programs and policies.

He highlights Nepal’s identification of pivotal areas that can drive economic transformation, steering the nation towards SDG fulfillment and a decisive exit from the status of a Least Developed Country (LDC).

“Our focus is on enhancing production and productivity within our economy, generating skilled human capital, and creating inclusive employment opportunities, including a robust emphasis on quality education, accessible healthcare systems, sound infrastructure, responsible urbanization, social empowerment, inclusivity, social security, increased capital expenditure, biodiversity preservation, and effective governance,” adds Shrestha.

Fiscal Nepal |
Thursday August 17, 2023, 12:31:20 PM |

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