Rural Poverty in Nepal

Despite some progress in poverty reduction in recent years Nepal remains one of the poorest countries in the world, with a Human Development Index of 0.458, placing it 157th out of 187 countries. Poverty in Nepal is a deeply entrenched and complex phenomenon. Over 30 per cent of Nepalese live below the poverty line of US$12 per person/per month. Notwithstanding declining rates of urban poverty, the problem remains widespread with indicators suggesting a rise in rural poverty.

The most vulnerable people in Nepal include:

  • destitute people, such as sick or disabled persons, abandoned children and displaced persons.
  • extremely poor people, including illiterate or landless persons or those with very few assets.
  • moderately poor people, such as those who have small farms but are often heavily indebted.
  • people who are ‘nearly poor', including small farmers who are at risk of falling back into poverty as a result of factors such as conflict, debt and land degradation.

IFAD in Nepal

Nepal was one of the first countries to benefit from IFAD loans. Since 1978, IFAD has provided a total of US$198.2 million in loans for 14 projects, of which nine have been completed, whilst five of those projects are ongoing. Projects have mobilized significant resources. For every dollar lent by IFAD, an additional dollar was committed by the government and other donors.

IFAD’s strategy in Nepal

In the present post-conflict context, IFAD’s strategy in Nepal is focused on supporting the development policies and programmes of the government and other partners, especially in relation to peace-building, reconciliation, reconstruction and economic recovery. More than ever IFAD’s interventions in the country underscore these efforts by addressing the issues of poverty, inequality and social marginalization that lie at the heart of the conflict. In particular the organization continues to direct its support towards the hill and mountain areas, where poverty levels are very high and access to infrastructure, services and markets is extremely limited. Interventions are designed to:

  • help provide infrastructure and services
  • target the most marginalized ethnic and social groups
  • improve income-generating opportunities
  • promote good governance and peace-building
  • support interventions that promote community cohesion and resilience

Additional Information

Download IFAD's Nepal Country Strategy 2007 - 2012 (pdf)

Projects: Active - Completed

IFAD activities in Nepal: News - Events

More related information: Resource Library - Contacts

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