Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, 19 June 2020 - Nepal

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In Nepal, the UN team is supporting Government efforts to cope with the pandemic, with a special focus on the most vulnerable. Authorities are facilitating the repatriation of Nepali migrants from the Gulf and South‑East Asia, with the number of returnees from India increasing in the past weeks. The UN has been supporting efforts at points of entry and transit, with quarantine sites and isolation centres. Twenty-five thousand returnees are expected in this first phase. Nepal currently has over 7,800 confirmed cases and 22 reported deaths due to the pandemic.

According to a UN assessment, the pandemic has disrupted supply chains, threatening small and informal businesses. Three in five employees have lost their jobs and tourism receipts are projected to fall by 60 per cent this year resulting in a $400 million loss. In addition, the fall in remittances is likely to range between 15 and 20 per cent this year, with Nepal’s projected gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate of 8.5 per cent declining to well below 2.5 per cent; that’s according the UN Development Programme (UNDP). The crisis has especially affected women. More than 40 per cent of women lost their jobs, compared to less than 30 per cent of men. UN‑Women is leading the needs assessment of women and persons who do not appear on government lists, such as sex workers, trafficked women, LGBTQI persons, also enabling women-led community kitchens in vulnerable provinces.