Kathmandu: Representatives from eight SAARC countries including India will be participating in the third ministerial meet on 'Poverty Alleviation', set to start here on Friday which will review achievements in the sector in the South Asian region.
Regional poverty profile, SAARC Development Goals, regional and sub-regional investment projects as well as the vision of SAARC Post 2015 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are expected to be discussed during the ministerial meeting, according to SAARC Secretariat.
A five-member Indian delegation will be joined by representatives from seven other SAARC countries in the meeting, according to Dhan Bahadur Oli, Nepal Director at SAARC Secretariat.
At least six Finance and Economic Development Ministers from the SAARC region are expected to take part in the meeting.
Despite, efforts made at the regional level to reduce poverty, the number of poor people have increased to 600 million in the SAARC region mainly due to lack of labour intensive production policy and growing income disparity among the people of the region, according to SAARC Secretariat.
Prior to ministerial meeting, SAARC Secretary-level meeting will also be held here on Thursday.
Addressing a press meet on the eve of the meeting, SAARC Secretary General Ahmed Saleem expressed the hope that Nepal will be able to host the 18th SAARC Summit in Kathmandu later this year despite the ongoing political transition in the country.
"SAARC Summit has not been held for the past one and half year since the Maldives Summit and I hope the next summit will take place in Kathmandu later this year," he said.
The ministerial meeting will review achievements in the area of poverty alleviation in the south Asian region and recommend future course of action, said the Secretary General.
The last ministerial meeting of SAARC on Poverty Alleviation was held in 2008 in Maldives, while the fourth secretary level meeting was held in 2011 in Pakistan.