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Incentive program brings hope to children of rural Nepal

Families in rural communities in Nepal are taking part in a cash grant program, allowing their children a chance to thrive in multiple ways, IRIN reports.

The child grant program was started by the government in 2009 and offers parents a chance to get $2.75 a month to put towards purchasing nutritious food for their children by showing proof of their children's birth certificates.

Not only do birth certificates give the government a better idea of the country's population, it is also the way in which growing children can receive governmental support like access to health care and even education enrollment.

Since the beginning of the program, birth registration in the remote Karnali region of western Napal has increased by 300 percent, according to UNICEF. Prior to the incentive, only 20,896 children were registered, and now 85,624 are.

Some humanitarian groups see some flaws within the program however, as where the money is spent is not tracked, so there is no way of showing whether or not parents are actually buying healthy food for their kids.

"Just having cash doesn't solve the problem of malnutrition," Thakur Dhakal, social policy specialist at UNICEF told the publication. "These poor families might have another priority for the money - say a leak in the roof."  
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