Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Nepal nervous about downturn's impact on its workers abroad downturn on Asian remittances

Kathmandu - Outside Kathmandu's Tribhuvan International Airport, groups of young men, mostly in their early 20s, gather to catch flights out of Nepal. They are all headed abroad for employment.

Palden Tamang, 22, is among them. Apprehensive about leaving the country for the first time, his local agent tries to calm him down with instructions about what to do once he gets to Qatar.

Tamang has been promised a job as a labourer in a construction company that pays about 10,000 rupees (130 dollars) a month along with food and lodging - wages that amount to a fortune for impoverished people living in the hills of Nepal who otherwise have few employment prospects at home.

'I managed to collect the money necessary for the arrangements by selling off some of the family property and the remaining amount borrowed from a village money lender,' Tamang said nervously. 'It will be hard work, and I will have to repay the loans I have taken.' Read more

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