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Post Disaster Assessment: Blockade 2015-16

June 2016

For more than one year now, the Nepali economy has been gasping for breath as multiple challenges choked the country one after the other. The devastating earthquakes which claimed close to 9,000 lives and injured more than 22,000 inflicted enormous costs - an estimated USD 7 billion - on the economy and is expected to push close to 700,000 people below poverty line. Just months later, constitution related protests in the Terai-Madhes region which culminated into border blockade came as another major shock to the economy, and the society at large. As the trade blockade continued with vital supplies to the landlocked country virtually cut-off, the resultant energy crisis made its impact felt across all the sectors of the economy. For one, essential imports like medicines and fuel was not allowed to enter the country, and on the other hand, the crippling shortage of fuel adversely affected the production, distribution, and consumption processes of the economy. While the immediate impacts of the blockade were apparent and have been widely reported in the media, the longer term implications that it can have are much more complex and adverse. This study by Nepal Economic Forum; commission by the Alliance for Social Dialogue, therefore, aims to comprehend the depth and breadth of the impact on important sectors of the economy and based on the findings and suggests measures which could make the economy more resilient to such shocks in the future.

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