Friday, October 11, 2013

Nepal hails World Bank interest in supporting hydropower development

Nepal has welcomed World Bank Groups growing interest in supporting hydropower development in the country.
“We heartily thank World Bank president Jim Yong Kim for giving priority in developing Nepal’s hydropower that will not only help Nepal but will also help make the South Asia region prosper by meeting the acute power need,” finance minister and governor of the World Bank Group for Nepal Shanker Prasad Koirala, addressing the 2013 annual meetings of the Boards of Governors of the World Bank Group and the International Monetary Fund at Washington DC, USA, today.
Nepal, on the occasion, also urged the World Bank Group to lead investment on regional level projects as well, especially in the area of hydropower, irrigation, renewable energy and climate change.
“The World Bank has been an important partner to all its member countries to support the poor, boost growth and leverage the private sector,” he said, adding that it has been very instrumental in supporting middle and low income countries to respond to and recover from the pain of poverty. “Obviously, meeting development challenge is not an easy tasks they are positioned diversely according to their circumstances, and uniqueness.”
He also urged the Bank Group to channel its support taking into account the country context, which could make a real difference and add value for money. “A more evidence based country programme will thus help to strengthen national priorities and coordination as well,” he added, sharing Nepal’s efforts in trying to align and harmonise foreign aid with the national priorities.
World Bank has two ambitious goals; ending extreme poverty within a generation by reducing the percentage of people living on less than $1.25-a-day to three per cent by 2030, and boost shared prosperity by increasing income of the bottom 40 per cent of the population in every country.
“An inclusive growth approach, and the equitable distribution of the growth, will be immensely supportive to achieve those goals,” Koirala said, adding that World Bank Group’s global footprint, and the global reach can be equally used for the benefit of our citizens to enhance cooperation in terms  of  knowledge  and  experience sharing  to  fight  against  the  common issues  of poverty, and enhancing shared prosperity.
Highlighting Nepal’s achievement in Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), he shared that there still have several unfinished businesses of MDGs. “Nepal has set the goal of graduating from the LDC status by 2022,” he said, adding, “It might seem to be an ambitious goal in the context of four per cent average annual economic growth rate that Nepal achieved in the last one decade. “However, there are several reasons to be optimistic that we can achieve this goal like the peace process has come to a logical end; there has been consensus among political parties for the economic development agenda; the investment climate has been improving with the improved industrial relations; there is consistency in policy frameworks, and the government expenditure is directed to priority sectors generating employment and boosting economic growth.  
The finance minister also hailed the World Bank's efforts for laying necessary groundwork for a successful IDA 17 Replenishment in 2013.

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