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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
Nepal’s post-pandemic rebound, fueled by a credit boom, came to an end last year as growth slowed markedly. Low domestic demand helped resolve external pressures but also deflated government revenue and led to a widening of the fiscal deficit despite spending discipline. Despite the November 2023 earthquake, growth is expected to recover to 3.5 percent in FY2023/24, which is below potential. Inflation is declining but remains high. While the financial sector appears to be weathering the credit contraction, regulatory and supervisory practices need to continue to be strengthened to facilitate the needed transition to more sustainable and pro-growth credit growth.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept. and International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
The mission conducted a diagnostic review of the financial sector oversight capacity and proposed a Technical Assistance Roadmap (TARM) to support the authorities’ efforts to strengthen the identification, analysis, and mitigation of risks to financial stability in Nepal. Two modules were undertaken: (i) the financial stability module, focused on areas agreed with the NRB during the scoping stage: banking supervision and regulation, stress testing, crisis management, payment systems, and financial inclusion; and (ii) the financial sector statistics module, focused on key data gaps hampering financial stability analysis, as well as statistical reporting to the IMF’s STA.
Diogo Baptista, John A Spray, and Ms. Filiz D Unsal
We develop a quantitative spatial general equilibrium model with heterogeneous house-holds and multiple locations to study households’ vulnerability to food insecurity from cli-mate shocks. In the model, households endogenously respond to negative climate shocks by drawing-down assets, importing food and temporarily migrating to earn additional income to ensure sufficient calories. Because these coping strategies are most effective when trade and migration costs are low, remote households are more vulnerable to climate shocks. Food insecure households are also more vulnerable, as their proximity to a subsistence requirement causes them to hold a smaller capital buffer and more aggressively dissave in response to shocks, at the expense of future consumption. We calibrate the model to 51 districts in Nepal and estimate the impact of historical climate shocks on food consumption and welfare. We estimate that, on an annual basis, floods, landslides, droughts and storms combined generated GDP losses of 2.3 percent, welfare losses of 3.3 percent for the average household and increased the rate of undernourishment by 2.8 percent. Undernourished households experience roughly 50 percent larger welfare losses and those in remote locations suffer welfare losses that are roughly two times larger than in less remote locations (5.9 vs 2.9 percent). In counterfactual simulations, we show the role of better access to migration and trade in building resilience to climate shocks.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper utilizes a new macro-model capturing food insecurity, migration and trade in Nepal. It shows that low yields and remoteness explain a majority of the difference in prevalence of food insecurity across districts in Nepal; both climate shocks and persistent climate-change increase food insecurity and disproportionately harm the most vulnerable; and lower wages in migrant destinations would reduce remittances, increase food insecurity and lower welfare. The paper then presents and quantifies a number of potential policies to address these issues. The paper quantifies the impact of a number of policy options (cash transfers, better infrastructure, and improved agricultural productivity) to address food insecurity and climate change. In addition to climate shocks, persistent climate change will lower welfare, increase food insecurity, and migration. Given the model results show that agricultural productivity is a key determinant of food security, Nepal can learn from other countries policies including in agricultural extension, improved community water management techniques, and climate resilient agriculture in line with the National Adaptation Plan.