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Shankar Sharma, vice-chairman of National Planning Commission (NPC) of Nepal, recently admitted that the country would be unable to achieve the Millennium Development Goals if the Maoist activity was not curbed immediately. This is the first such statement by a senior government official. According to government estimates, nearly two-thirds of Nepal is under Maoist control. Many government programmes have been withdrawn as government officials no longer travel to these areas. The NPC had declared last year that the country would be able to attain four of the eight goals under the MDG by 2015: halving poverty and hunger; achieving universal primary education; reducing child mortality by two-thirds and reducing by half the number of people without access to safe drinking water.
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