KATHMANDU, Dec 6: Nepali people live longer than the peoples of five other countries in South Asia, stated a United Nations Development Program (UNDP) report on Thursday.
According to the Asia-Pacific Human Development Report, which was unveiled on Thursday in Kathmandu, Nepal´s life expectancy at birth (years) stands at 67 in 2009, which is higher than those of Afghanistan (48), Bhutan (63), Pakistan (63), India (65) and Bangladesh (65). Only two South Asian countries -- Maldives (75) and Sri Lanka (71) -- fare well in terms of life expectancy at birth.
The report, which was jointly launched by Vice Chairman of National Planning Commission (NPC) Deependra Bahadur Chhetri and Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific of UNDP Ajay Chhibber, also reveals several other interesting facts about Nepal´s human development in comparison to other Asian countries.
Nepal has also made progresses in terms of the use of improved drinking water sources and improved sanitation facilities, which are two key indicators of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), stated the report.
According to the report, the percentage of population using improved drinking water sources, which was just 76 in 1990 and 83 in 2000, has increased to 88 by 2008. Similarly, 31 per cent of the people have access to improved sanitation facilities -- a rise of 20 percentage points over the last two decades.
The report also discloses the total Green House Gas (GHG) emitted by Nepal, which stands at 40.6 (MTCO2e) by 2005, to which Methane and Nitrous Oxide are two key indicators.
At the report launch, Chhibber, who is also UN assistant secretary general, stressed the need for living eco-friendly lifestyle to reduce GHG emission and save the planet from the impacts of climate change.
Referring to a conservative estimate of UNDP, which states that only nine planets would suffice to meet the total demand for energy if the people of the Asia-Pacific region were to live the lifestyle of the American-Canadian people, Chhibber said, "Unfortunately, we have just one planet. But, there is a way out, though not an easy one."
Chibber also said Nepal could contribute to saving fossil fuel by tapping the rich potential of hydropower. "This is an opportunity, which has the scope for much better financing," he said.