Nepal’s graduation prospect
Nepal has set for itself an ambitious (but not impossible) target of graduating to a ‘developing country’ status by 2022. In an interview with Republica, UN Under Secretary-General and High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States (UN-OHRLLS)—a mouthful, we know—Gyan Chandra Acharya pointed out the enormous gains Nepal would make by staying true to the 2022 goal. ‘Developing country’ is not just a nametag, he said, it also means the country has a robust economic base and healthy economic growth.
To graduate, Nepal would have had to come good on the three criteria of the United Nations: Income (per capital Gross National Income of US $1,190 or above), Human Assets Index (which measures social indicators like malnutrition and school enrolment) and Economic Vulnerability Index (measure of, among other things, population size, exports, and agriculture production). Nepal already meets the second criterion; with some effort, the third criterion is also achievable. It will be the first target (of income) which will be the most difficult to hit. Yet the three are not mutually exclusive; the first and the third, for instance, are closely linked.