Is Nepal a developing country?

According to UN classification, Nepal is categorized in the least developed countries (LDCs). As the country could not reach the threshold, it could not get ranked up from least developed to developing country. As there seems to have no progress overall, Nepal has failed in development. Though the government of Nepal has targeted and claimed a certain level of development, despite some gains, there has not been any major changes as per promised. In 1991, US government development agency predicted that Nepal will graduate from the rank up least developed countries by the year 2001 but since we are in 2017, it is still in the list of LDCs. However, Nepal is hoping to achieve that target by 2022. But as the progress report is below expected, it is sure to miss the target again.

There have been several reasons for Nepal being still in the list of LDCs. There is No any particular reason to blame for this. The war in between 1996 to 2006 is ultimately one of the key reasons where more than 17000 people were killed, economic activities were hindered and infrastructures were destroyed. Corruption is the second major reason that has been hitting the development works. The unstable government and the conflict between the political parties are considered as other main reason for the no progress at all.

Nepal has been receiving foreign aid for over 60 years. Currently, it has been receiving over $1 billion in a year which a quarter of the government budget. Though such a huge amount of money is being received in the name of development, Nepal is not able to achieve its target. Moreover, it’s achievement has fallen far more than expected.

According to the united nation, a least developed country is that country with lowest indicators of socioeconomic development and lowest human development index. Generally, if a country meets the three criteria as per UN, it is least developed country. These categories are:

  • Poverty: Countries that have GNI per capita less than US $ 1035 are included in LDCs. To graduate from it, one must have higher than $ 1242.
  • Human development index: This is categorized on the basis of nutrition, health, education and adult literacy. Countries with less than 60 HDI are listed in LDCs while to graduate from it; one must have higher than 66.
  • Economic vulnerability: This is based on the economic condition of the country. Countries with more than 36 EVI (Economic Vulnerability Index) fall under LDCs while those with less than 32 will graduate from it.

According to the data of 2015, Nepal GNI is $ 659, HDI is 68.7 and EVI are 26.8.

At the moment, Nepal needs in not financial aid or technical advice. It is political. As the country is not being able to achieve its target as per promised but still the international financial aid has been added in the name of development. The financial aid has been making extractive politics sustainable. The donors must be brave to demand actions against the corruption. They should withdraw their financial aid if the progress is not as per needed and if the corruption is not being abolished. Unless the corruption is completely removed, there is very less chance of achieving the target.

 

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