The Government of Nepal, in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), has 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 JoséGraziano da Silva, FAO Director-General in 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 the Secretary General of the United Nations at the Rio Conference in Brazil in 2012.
In his remarks, the Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli said Nepal is one of the 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 as well as 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 will continue supporting the Government of Nepal and development partners, including the civil society organizations, to materialize the targets set under the National Action Plan.
Haribol Prasad Gajural, Minister for Agricultural Development presided over the launching ceremony, which was attended by over 200 representatives from key ministries, UN agencies, national and international development organizations, cooperatives, national farmers’ coalition, peasants’ organization, private sector service providers and other development partners including NGOs.
In his remarks, he mentioned that the Ministry of Agricultural Development 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 believed that by addressing the challenge of eradicating hunger, it 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 posedby the devastating earthquake of April 2015.
Michael Jones, United Nations’ Resident Coordinator appreciated preparation of the National Action Plan. He emphasized the need of building synergy among related development partners for its successful accomplishment. He said that Nepal has been successful in reducing poverty over the past few years. However, eradicating hunger by 2025 could still be a big challenge for the country to maintain the momentum of progress towards the envisaged direction. Therefore, he suggested running fund-raising campaigns among the concurring institutional support groups for successful implementation of the planned targets.
Uttam Kumar Bhattarai, Secretary of the Ministry of Agricultural Development, welcomed all participants and highlighted major components, strategies and targets covered by the National Action Plan. He expressed that 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