COVID- 19 Crisis And Impacts On Nepal

Our economy now is highly dependent on remittance sent by large population who are employed mostly in Gulf countries in labor works also from other countries in Asia, Europe and America.

April 29, 2020, 9:50 a.m.

Current Covid- 19 pandemic has already shown trends to what extent it is going to affect our already fragile economy and social order for long time to come. The factors likely to push us to that kind of an unusual or critical condition in near future are more than clear. These challenges demanding urgent attention and action both at government and public level appear, in my opinion, as follows.

Food Shortages

In recent years, for reasons like less attention paid to boost agricultural productivity, since we have been converted into agricultural consumer goods importing country at present, the possibility in our case to usher in a famine type food shortage or supplies crisis in near future cannot be ruled out straightaway unless we are prepared to encounter that kind of calamity with vision right now on time. This situation seems definite to emphasize further with the process of Nepalese living abroad returning to home as now in overwhelming number, together with loss of employment and income, shortage of money with people and also less government treasury/ budget to import required quantity of food for peoples at large as per their demand.

Unemployment

Secondly, a very critical condition like large scale unemployment appears sure to grip the country, looking at the present indications, in days to come simply because only very few percentage of our migrant laborers seem likely to get opportunity to restore to job very soon, understandably, for the concerned countries’ own reasons such as corona disturbed economy and time required for readjustment, to name a few of their practical difficulties. Our economy now is highly dependent on remittance sent by large population who are employed mostly in Gulf countries in labor works also from other countries in Asia, Europe and America. This apparent unemployment crisis requires to be taken into account also in the light of our internal post –corona situation, as our employment and economy on tourism sectors, airlines, travel agencies, hotels, industries and others have come to a point of standstill at present, showing at the same time the dim possibility of their fresh operation very soon .

Thirdly, there is every chance that Nepalese spread over mostly in developed Western countries for intellectual good jobs, or even education, seem harboring a feeling like returning to home gradually and particularly for two reasons. One reason is for changed circumstances or laws/ rules about foreigners in those countries and also feeling of risk involved in racism, their growing hatred for outsiders, Asians or South Asians in our case.

Against this background, supposing situations like mentioned above, arise any time now within a short period to come, fundamental questions remains how our present State machineries will address, receive and adjust that kind of trying circumstances, particularly the needs and expectations of returning from a suddenly different countries of the world, no more homely or work friendly as before .

Furthermore, in our case, no doubt, the credit to timely decision of lockdowns and social distances by the government, strict measures by the security forces/ police, right duties by doctors and health workers. despite some pitfalls regarding right and prompt services to those who are not able to reach home or getting immediate healthcares, food, lodging and even transport facilities on time, government should take responsibilities of these faults and delays.

However, the fact that there has not been single death toll occurred in case of our country so far should not be taken as a ground for complacency also, because this Corona pandemic handling is going to be a real test case for the performance capability, internally and diplomatically, of the present day government having overwhelming strength in Parliament to work really honestly and responsibly.

Finally, one more peoples’ latest concern about the government is none other than the big question what for the party in power is fighting among themselves even at such a juncture when all party support to the sitting Prime Minister to work together in very united and war -footing manner is call of the hour in the interest of the peoples and the nation at large.

Dhungana has MA degree in Politics/ International Relations JNU, India and LLB ( Law) TU, Nepal. Email: nishesh.dhungana@gmail.com

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