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Experts urge Nepal to invest in adolescent development

2014-06-20 05:12:33  来源: 【返回列表】

KATHMANDU, June 19 (Xinhua) -- Demographically speaking, Nepal is a young country with an adolescent population of 6.4 million, accounting for about a fourth of the total national population, and yet, millions of adolescents don't get opportunities to live out their true potential, according to experts.

     "In Nepal's worst performing districts, adolescents are comprehensively denied the rights that they deserve. Investing in adolescence is one of the best investments a country can make," Dr. Will Parks, deputy representative at UNICEF Nepal, said on Thursday.

     The highlights from the UNICEF Adolescent Development and Participation (ADAP) Program were released here Thursday.

     The baseline survey on holistic adolescent development in Nepal collected data on adolescents aged 10-19 belonging to over 50 different ethnic groups in 15 districts of Nepal.

     "UNICEF alongside many other partners is recognizing that to change the situation of adolescents in Nepal we must do so in a very holistic manner; that requires many different sectors of society and government to come together," Dr. Parks said on the occasion of the dissemination of findings of the new survey.

     The study measured the socio-cultural and behavioral aspects of the lives of Nepali adolescents focusing on education and skills, livelihoods and financial literacy, enabling and protecting environment, gender norms and equity, health and healthy behaviors, and civic engagement and participation.

     According to Dr. Parks, Nepal is on track to achieve many of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), but national averages hide huge disparities.

     Many low-income households have not made significant gains and adolescents risk to be left out of the development plan.

     Government officials recently warned that in the Nepali context most of the development work does not have a clear strategy to address the comprehensive development of individuals "in the second decade of life".

     The recommendations emanating from the study conducted by UNICEF; the Population Council; Center for Research on Environment, Health and Population Activities (CREHPA) and Yuwalaya, are meant to feed into the National Plan of Action for the Holistic Development of Adolescents, currently being developed by the National Planning Commission.

     "If we realize that one quarter of Nepal's population consists of adolescents how can we ignore them in policy-making? When they grow up they will be the ones running the country; we need to address their needs," Dr. Bimala Rai Paudyal, member of the National Planning Commissions, said.