COVID-19 and Nepali Labour Migrants: Impacts and Responses
The pandemic caused by the coronavirus disease, COVID-19, has had enormous repercussions as a global health and safety risk and it has also reshaped the socio-economic and political landscapes. The highly infectious disease has severely affected the supply chain of goods and services, affecting workers’ incomes and livelihoods the world over. Of particular concern is the situation of transnational migrant workers who have found themselves in a middle of a pandemic in foreign countries, sometimes out of work and also living in the most dangerous conditions.
As a country dependent on foreign employment for a large number of its working-age population and which depends heavily on remittances from workers abroad to keep its economy afloat, the pandemic is expected to have long-term impacts on Nepal. In this context, this paper aims to understand how COVID-19 has affected Nepali migrant workers, what the numbers are, how they have been coping under the circumstances, and the roles of various governing institutions in dealing with the ever-evolving situation.