Fight Hunger First Initiative
Nepal continues to be one of the world’s poorest and least-developed countries with one of the lowest life expectancies in Asia. Political instability, limited economic growth, high prices and natural disasters have resulted in 6.7 million people living below the national poverty line – a quarter of the population.
Malnutrition remains a serious obstacle to child survival, growth and development in Nepal.15 percent of the population is food-insecure. 41 percent of the rural children under 5 are stunted, 29 percent are underweight, and 11 percent are wasted. More girls than boys suffer from malnutrition. Anaemia affects 46 percent of children aged 6-59 months and 32 percent of women or reproductive age, with very little change over the past five years. Only 18 percent of babies are delivered at health facilities, and only 19 percent of deliveries are assisted by a skilled birth attendant. Maternal mortality rates are very high with 11 percent of deaths among women of reproductive age.
The enrolment rate for basic education has increased, but access to quality education remains a challenge: 30 percent of children drop out before completing grade 8. Only 54 percent of children in grade 1 have attended pre-primary school. Disadvantaged and minority groups traditionally attain low educational levels; among Dalits, enrolment rates are only 22 percent at the primary level. Only 45 percent of women are literate. 1.6 million children are engaged in child labour, the majority of them girls. Only 45 percent of women are literate.
Children from marginalised and excluded castes and ethnic groups are particularly prone to poverty and discrimination and are therefore especially vulnerable to exploitation, violence and abuse. Many of them are victimised through child/early marriages, trafficking, migration, social stigmatisation and gender based violence, amongst many other serious child protection concerns.
The Government of Nepal is currently implementing different strategies and policies aiming to promote primary education, health and nutrition and child protection. The pro‐poor Health Sector Reform Strategy supports increased access to and utilization of essential healthcare services, particularly by poor and excluded groups, including the distribution of free selected drugs and free maternal healthcare services through local‐level health facilities. The School Sector Reform Programme 2009/10–2015/16 (SSRP) includes positive discriminatory policies such as free education (scholarships and textbooks) up to Grade 12 for Dalits, girls, deprived children, and children of specific marginalized groups. Article 17 of the Interim Constitution declares that each community shall have the right to get basic education in its mother tongue and a national framework of the Government introduces “mother-tongue based multilingual education (MT-MLE)” for non-Nepali speaking children. The 10‐year National Plan of Action (NPA) for Children (2004/05–2014/15) mainstreams child‐rights‐related activities into respective sectoral ministries.
To improve key indicators related to primary education, health and nutrition security in 3 selected districts through community institution building, innovative piloting and advocacy at different levels
Chitwan, Morang and Ramechhap districts
women and children from 4.743 households of the Village Development Committees Korak (Chitwan District), Gelu (Ramechhap District) and Jante (Morang District)