Nepal families face hunger, skip meals as pandemic decimates economy

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More than 56 per cent of Nepal’s estimated 5.4 million households receive remittances that are a vital lifeline for families

Remittances totalled $8.1-billion last year, or more than a quarter of Nepal’s gross domestic product, but are likely to drop 14 per cent in 2020 because of the global recession caused by the virus, as well as a fall in oil prices, the World Bank says.Remittances are crucial for lower-middle-class families that have moved to city centres and rely on them to pay for rent, groceries, school fees and utilities, said analyst Ganesh Gurung.

But in the last six months she has received only 40,000 Nepali rupees from her husband, most of it borrowed from his friends. In the southwestern town of Gajedah, Radha Marasini said her husband, Indra Mani, lost his job as a security guard at a textile factory in India’s northern city of Ludhiana after the outbreak.

 

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