Nepal

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In 1951, the Nepali monarch ended the century-old system of rule by hereditary premiers and instituted a cabinet system that brought political parties into the government. That arrangement lasted until 1960, when political parties were again banned, but was reinstated in 1990 with the establishment of a multiparty democracy within the framework of a constitutional monarchy. An insurgency led by Maoists broke out in 1996. The ensuing 10-year civil war between Maoist and government forces witnessed the dissolution of the cabinet and parliament and the re-assumption of absolute power by the king in 2002. Several weeks of mass protests in April 2006 were followed by several months of peace negotiations between the Maoists and government officials, and culminated in a late 2006 peace accord and the 2007 promulgation of an interim constitution. Following a nationwide Constituent Assembly (CA) election in 2008, the newly formed CA declared Nepal a federal democratic republic, abolished the monarchy, and elected the country's first president. After the CA failed to draft a constitution by a May 2012 deadline set by the Supreme Court, then-Prime Minister Baburam BHATTARAI dissolved the CA. Months of negotiations ensued until March 2013 when the major political parties agreed to create an interim government headed by then-Chief Justice Khil Raj REGMI with a mandate to hold elections for a new CA. Elections were held in November 2013, in which the Nepali Congress won the largest share of seats in the CA and in February 2014 formed a coalition government with the second place Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist and with Nepali Congress President Sushil KOIRALA as prime minister. Nepal's new constitution came into effect in September 2015.

Geography

Location

Southern Asia, between China and India

Geographic coordinates

28.00° N, 84.00° E

Area 94/257

total: 147,181 sq km

land: 143,351 sq km

water: 3,830 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly larger than Arkansas

Land boundaries

total: 3,159 km

border countries (2): China 1,389 km, India 1,770 km

Coastline

0 km (landlocked)

Maritime claims

none (landlocked)

Climate

varies from cool summers and severe winters in north to subtropical summers and mild winters in south

Terrain

Tarai or flat river plain of the Ganges in south; central hill region with rugged Himalayas in north

Elevation

mean elevation:

elevation extremes:

lowest point: Kanchan Kalan 70 m

highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m (highest peak in Asia and highest point on earth above sea level)

Natural resources

quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore

Land use

agricultural land: 28.8%

arable land 15.1%; permanent crops 1.2%; permanent pasture 12.5%

forest: 25.4%

other: 45.8% (2011 est.)

Irrigated land

13,320 sq km (2012)

Total renewable water resources

210.2 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)

total: 9.5 cu km/yr (2%/0%/98%)

per capita: 334.7 cu m/yr (2006)

Natural hazards

severe thunderstorms; flooding; landslides; drought and famine depending on the timing, intensity, and duration of the summer monsoons

Environment - current issues

deforestation (overuse of wood for fuel and lack of alternatives); contaminated water (with human and animal wastes, agricultural runoff, and industrial effluents); wildlife conservation; vehicular emissions

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Life Conservation

Geography - note

landlocked; strategic location between China and India; contains eight of world's 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest and Kanchenjunga - the world's tallest and third tallest mountains - on the borders with China and India respectively

People and Society

Nationality

noun: Nepali (singular and plural)

adjective: Nepali

Ethnic groups

Chhettri 16.6%, Brahman-Hill 12.2%, Magar 7.1%, Tharu 6.6%, Tamang 5.8%, Newar 5%, Kami 4.8%, Muslim 4.4%, Yadav 4%, Rai 2.3%, Gurung 2%, Damai/Dholii 1.8%, Thakuri 1.6%, Limbu 1.5%, Sarki 1.4%, Teli 1.4%, Chamar/Harijan/Ram 1.3%, Koiri/Kushwaha 1.2%, other 19%

note: 125 caste/ethnic groups were reported in the 2011 national census (2011 est.)

Languages

Nepali (official) 44.6%, Maithali 11.7%, Bhojpuri 6%, Tharu 5.8%, Tamang 5.1%, Newar 3.2%, Magar 3%, Bajjika 3%, Urdu 2.6%, Avadhi 1.9%, Limbu 1.3%, Gurung 1.2%, other 10.4%, unspecified 0.2%

note: 123 languages reported as mother tongue in 2011 national census; many in government and business also speak English (2011 est.)

Religions

Hindu 81.3%, Buddhist 9%, Muslim 4.4%, Kirant 3.1%, Christian 1.4%, other 0.5%, unspecifed 0.2% (2011 est.)

Population 42/238

31,551,305 (July 2015 est.)

Age structure

0-14 years: 30.72% (male 4,937,627/female 4,755,972)

15-24 years: 22.51% (male 3,580,083/female 3,522,047)

25-54 years: 36.5% (male 5,552,621/female 5,964,599)

55-64 years: 5.67% (male 874,350/female 913,683)

65 years and over: 4.6% (male 668,760/female 781,563) (2015 est.)

Dependency ratios

total dependency ratio: 61.8%

youth dependency ratio: 52.9%

elderly dependency ratio: 9%

potential support ratio: 11.1% (2015 est.)

Median age

total: 23.4 years

male: 22.8 years

female: 24 years (2015 est.)

Population growth rate 64/233

1.79% (2015 est.)

Birth rate 80/224

20.64 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Death rate 146/225

6.56 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Net migration rate 33/222

3.86 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2015 est.)

Urbanization

urban population: 18.6% of total population (2015)

rate of urbanization: 3.18% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major urban areas - population

KATHMANDU (capital) 1.183 million (2015)

Sex ratio

at birth: 1.04 male(s)/female

0-14 years: 1.04 male(s)/female

15-24 years: 1.02 male(s)/female

25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female

55-64 years: 0.96 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.86 male(s)/female

total population: 0.98 male(s)/female (2015 est.)

Mother's mean age at first birth

20.1

note: median age at first birth among women 25-29 (2011 est.)

Maternal mortality rate 60/184

258 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)

Infant mortality rate 52/224

total: 39.14 deaths/1,000 live births

male: 39.24 deaths/1,000 live births

female: 39.04 deaths/1,000 live births (2015 est.)

Life expectancy at birth 166/224

total population: 67.52 years

male: 66.18 years

female: 68.92 years (2015 est.)

Total fertility rate 96/224

2.24 children born/woman (2015 est.)

Contraceptive prevalence rate

49.7% (2011)

Health expenditures 125/191

6% of GDP (2013)

Hospital bed density

5 beds/1,000 population (2006)

Drinking water source

improved:

urban: 90.9% of population

rural: 91.8% of population

total: 91.6% of population

unimproved:

urban: 9.1% of population

rural: 8.2% of population

total: 8.4% of population (2015 est.)

Sanitation facility access

improved:

urban: 56% of population

rural: 43.5% of population

total: 45.8% of population

unimproved:

urban: 44% of population

rural: 56.5% of population

total: 54.2% of population (2015 est.)

HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate

0.2% (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS

39,200 (2014 est.)

HIV/AIDS - deaths

2,600 (2014 est.)

Obesity - adult prevalence rate 189/191

2.9% (2014)

Children under the age of 5 years underweight 17/138

29.1% (2011)

Education expenditures 87/173

4.7% of GDP (2010)

School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)

total: 12 years

male: 12 years

female: 12 years (2011)

Unemployment, youth ages 15-24

total: 3.5%

male: 4.2%

female: 2.9% (2008 est.)

Government

Country name

conventional long form: Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal

conventional short form: Nepal

local long form: Sanghiya Loktantrik Ganatantra Nepal

local short form: Nepal

etymology: the Newar people of the Kathmandu valley and surrounding areas apparently gave their name to the country; the terms "Nepal," "Newar," "Nepar," and "Newal" are phonetically different forms of the same word

Government type

federal democratic republic

Capital

name: Kathmandu

geographic coordinates: 27.43° N, 85.19° E

time difference: UTC+5.75 (10.75 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

Administrative divisions

14 zones (anchal, singular and plural); Bagmati, Bheri, Dhawalagiri, Gandaki, Janakpur, Karnali, Kosi, Lumbini, Mahakali, Mechi, Narayani, Rapti, Sagarmatha, Seti

Independence

1768 (unified by Prithvi Narayan SHAH)

National holiday

Republic Day, 28 May (2008), the abdication of Gyanendra SHAH, last Nepalese monarch, and the establishment of a federal republic

Constitution

several previous; latest adopted 20 September 2015 (2015)

Legal system

English common law and Hindu legal concepts

International law organization participation

has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt

Citizenship

citizenship by birth: yes

citizenship by descent: yes

dual citizenship recognized: no

residency requirement for naturalization: 15 years

Suffrage

18 years of age; universal

Executive branch

chief of state: President Bidhya Devi BHANDARI (since 29 October 2015); Vice President Nanda Bahadar PUN (since 31 October 2015)

head of government: Prime Minister Khadga Prasad OLI (since 12 October 2015)

cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister; cabinet dominated by the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal-United Marxist-Leninist

elections/appointments: president indirectly elected by the Constituency Assembly; term extends until the new constitution is promulgated; president elected on 29 October 2015 (next election NA); prime minister indirectly elected by the Constituent Assembly

election results: Bidhya Devi BHANDARI elected president; Constituent Assembly vote count - Bidhya Devi BHANDARI (CPN-UML) 327, Kul Bahadur GURUNG (NC) 214; BHANDARI is Nepal's first woman president

Legislative branch

description: unicameral Constituent Assembly or Sambidhan Sabha (601 seats; 240 members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote, 335 directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation (PR) vote and 26 appointed by the cabinet (Council of Ministers); note - political parties allocated more than 30 percent of the PR seats are obliged to follow specified quotas for ethnic groups and within them equal percentages of men and women

elections: last held on 19 November 2013 (next to be held NA)

election results: percent of vote by party - NC 26%, CPN-UML 24%, Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) 15%, Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal 7%; other 28%; seats by party - NC 196, CPN-UML 175, UCPN(M) 80, Rastriya Prajantantra Party Nepal 24, other smaller parties 100; note - 26 seats filled by the new Cabinet have not yet been appointed

Judicial branch

highest court(s): Supreme Court (consists of the chief justice and up to 14 judges)

judge selection and term of office: the Supreme Court chief justice appointed by the prime minister on the recommendation of the Constitutional Council; other judges appointed by the prime minister on the recommendation of the Judicial Council; judges serve until age 65

subordinate courts: appellate and district courts

note: Nepal's judiciary was restructured under its 2007 Interim Constitution

Political parties and leaders

note: 122 political parties participated in the 19 November 2013 election and the 30 parties listed below were elected to serve in the Constituent Assembly

Akhanda Nepal Party [Kumar KHADKA]

Communist Party of Nepal-Marxist Leninist or CPN-ML [C.P. MAINALI]

Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist-Leninist or CPN-UML [Jhala Nath KHANAL]

Communist Party of Nepal (United) or CPN (United) [Jaydev JOSHI]

Dalit Janajati Party [Bishwendra PASHWAN]

Federal Socialist Party [Ashok RAI]

Jana Jagaran Party Nepal (Awareness Party Nepal) [Lok Mani DHAKAL]

Khambuwan Rastriya Morcha-Nepal [Ram Kumar RAI]

Madhesi People's Rights Forum-Democratic [Bijay Kumar GACHCHADAR]

Madhesi People's Rights Forum-Nepal [Upendra YADAV]

Madhesi People's Rights Forum-Republican

Madhesh Samata Party Nepal [Meghraj SAHANI]

National Madhes Socialist Party [Sharat Singh BHANDARI]

Nepal Rastriya Party [Keshav Man SHAKYA]

Nepal Pariwar Dal [Ek Nath DHAKAL]

Nepal Workers and Peasants Party [Narayan Man BIJUKCHHE]

Nepali Congress or NC [Sushil KOIRALA]

Nepali Janata Dal [Hari Charan SHAH]

Rastriya Janamorcha Nepal [Chitra Bahadur K.C.]

Rastriya Janamukti Party [Malwar Singh THAPA]

Rastriya Prajatantra Party

Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal [Kamal THAPA]

Sadbhavana Party [Rajendra MAHATO]

Samajbadi Prajatanytrik Janata Party Nepal [Prem Bahadur SINGH]

Sanghiya Sadbhavana Party [Anil Kumar JHA]

Sanghiye Loktantrik Rastriya Manch [Rukmini CHAUDHARY]

Terai Madhesh Democratic Party [Mahantha THAKUR]

Terai-Madhesh Sadbhavana Party-Nepal [Mahendra YADAV]

Tharuhat Terai Party Nepal [Bhanuram CHAUDARY]

Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) or UCPN(M) [Pushpa Kamal DAHAL, also known as Comrade PRACHANDA]

Political pressure groups and leaders

other: various groups advocating regional autonomy such as the Federal State Limbuwan Council in far eastern Nepal

International organization participation

ADB, BIMSTEC, CD, CP, FAO, G-77, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, MINURSO, MINUSMA, MINUSTAH, MONUSCO, NAM, OPCW, SAARC, SACEP, UN, UNAMID, UNCTAD, UNDOF, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNMIL, UNMISS, UNOCI, UNTSO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Flag description

red with a blue border around the unique shape of two overlapping right triangles; the smaller, upper triangle bears a white stylized moon and the larger, lower triangle displays a white 12-pointed sun; the color red represents the rhododendron (Nepal's national flower) and is a sign of victory and bravery, the blue border signifies peace and harmony; the two right triangles are a combination of two single pennons (pennants) that originally symbolized the Himalaya Mountains while their charges represented the families of the king (upper) and the prime minister, but today they are understood to denote Hinduism and Buddhism, the country's two main religions; the moon represents the serenity of the Nepalese people and the shade and cool weather in the Himalayas, while the sun depicts the heat and higher temperatures of the lower parts of Nepal; the moon and the sun are also said to express the hope that the nation will endure as long as these heavenly bodies

note: Nepal is the only country in the world whose flag is not rectangular or square

National symbol(s)

rhododendron blossom; national color: red

National anthem

name: "Sayaun Thunga Phool Ka" (Hundreds of Flowers)

lyrics/music: Pradeep Kumar RAI/Ambar GURUNG

note: adopted 2007; after the abolition of the monarchy in 2006, a new anthem was required because of the previous anthem's praise for the king

Economy

Economy - overview

Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world, with about one-quarter of its population living below the poverty line. Nepal is heavily dependent on remittances, which amount to as much as 29% of GDP. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for almost 70% of the population and accounting for about one-third of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural products, including pulses, jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain.

Nepal has considerable scope for exploiting its potential in hydropower, with an estimated 42,000 MW of commercially feasible capacity. Nepal and India signed trade and investment agreements in 2014 that increase Nepal’s hydropower potential, but political uncertainty and a difficult business climate have hampered foreign investment.

Nepal was hit by massive earthquakes in early 2015, which damaged or destroyed infrastructure and homes and set back economic development. Political gridlock in the past several years and recent public protests, predominantly in the southern Tarai region, have hindered post-earthquake recovery and prevented much-needed economic reform. Additional challenges to Nepal's growth include its landlocked geographic location, persistent power shortages, and underdeveloped transportation infrastructure.

GDP (purchasing power parity) 97/230

$70.08 billion (2015 est.)

$67.8 billion (2014 est.)

$64.33 billion (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

GDP (official exchange rate)

$21.36 billion (2015 est.)

GDP - real growth rate 87/225

3.4% (2015 est.)

5.4% (2014 est.)

4.1% (2013 est.)

GDP - per capita (PPP) 197/230

$2,500 (2015 est.)

$2,400 (2014 est.)

$2,300 (2013 est.)

note: data are in 2015 US dollars

Gross national saving 7/179

33.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

33.3% of GDP (2014 est.)

33.1% of GDP (2013 est.)

GDP - composition, by end use

household consumption: 77.2%

government consumption: 12.4%

investment in fixed capital: 24.4%

investment in inventories: 12.3%

exports of goods and services: 9.9%

imports of goods and services: -36.2%

(2015 est.)

GDP - composition, by sector of origin

agriculture: 31.7%

industry: 15.1%

services: 53.2% (2015 est.)

Agriculture - products

pulses, rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, jute, root crops; milk, water buffalo meat

Industries

tourism, carpets, textiles; small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarettes, cement and brick production

Industrial production growth rate 98/202

2.6% (2015 est.)

Labor force 39/233

15.2 million

note: severe lack of skilled labor (2012 est.)

Labor force - by occupation

agriculture: 69%

industry: 12%

services: 19% (2010 est.)

Unemployment rate 199/207

46% (2008 est.)

42% (2004 est.)

Population below poverty line

25.2% (2011 est.)

Household income or consumption by percentage share

lowest 10%: 3.2%

highest 10%: 29.5% (2011)

Distribution of family income - Gini index 106/144

32.8 (2010)

47.2 (2008 est.)

Budget

revenues: $4.257 billion

expenditures: $4.203 billion (2015 est.)

Taxes and other revenues 161/219

19.9% of GDP (2015 est.)

Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-) 25/220

0.2% of GDP (2015 est.)

Public debt 142/176

30% of GDP (FY 2012/13 est.)

32% of GDP (2013 est.) (FY11/12)

Fiscal year

16 July - 15 July

Inflation rate (consumer prices) 191/226

7.2% (2015 est.)

8.4% (2014 est.)

Central bank discount rate 38/156

8% (31 October 2014)

8% (31 December 2013)

Commercial bank prime lending rate 84/184

9.8% (31 December 2015 est.)

10.6% (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of narrow money 107/192

$4.002 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$3.567 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of broad money 93/193

$17.83 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$16.36 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Stock of domestic credit 93/191

$14.33 billion (31 December 2015 est.)

$13.97 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

Market value of publicly traded shares 71/121

$11.81 billion (31 October 2014 est.)

$9.574 billion (31 October 2013)

$5.235 billion (31 December 2010 est.)

Current account balance 38/197

$1.067 billion (2015 est.)

$908 million (2014 est.)

Exports 163/224

$924.2 million (2015 est.)

$1.078 billion (2014 est.)

Exports - commodities

clothing, pulses, carpets, textiles, juice, jute goods

Exports - partners

India 59.7%, US 8.6%, China 4.6% (2014)

Imports 105/223

$8.56 billion (2015 est.)

$7.72 billion (2014 est.)

Imports - commodities

petroleum products, machinery and equipment, gold, electrical goods, medicine

Imports - partners

India 57%, China 29.6% (2014)

Reserves of foreign exchange and gold 32/170

$71.83 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$6.191 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Debt - external 137/206

$3.727 billion (31 December 2014 est.)

$3.833 billion (31 December 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - at home 117/120

$103 million (31 July 2013 est.)

Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad

$NA

Exchange rates

Nepalese rupees (NPR) per US dollar -

102.4 (2015 est.)

97.6 (2014 est.)

99.53 (2013 est.)

85.2 (2012 est.)

74.02 (2011 est.)

Energy

Electricity - production 129/220

3.516 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - consumption 131/219

3.239 billion kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - exports 92/218

4 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - imports 68/219

793 million kWh (2012 est.)

Electricity - installed generating capacity 130/214

763,000 kW (2012 est.)

Electricity - from fossil fuels 202/214

7.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from nuclear fuels 156/214

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from hydroelectric plants 10/214

92.5% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Electricity - from other renewable sources 208/212

0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)

Crude oil - production 176/214

0 bbl/day (2014 est.)

Crude oil - exports 170/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - imports 109/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Crude oil - proved reserves 176/215

0 bbl (1 January 2015 est.)

Refined petroleum products - production 119/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - consumption 128/212

20,000 bbl/day (2013 est.)

Refined petroleum products - exports 210/214

0 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Refined petroleum products - imports 113/213

19,990 bbl/day (2012 est.)

Natural gas - production 112/216

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - consumption 180/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - exports 156/215

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - imports 112/214

0 cu m (2013 est.)

Natural gas - proved reserves 179/212

0 cu m (1 January 2014 est.)

Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy 136/212

3.638 million Mt (2012 est.)

Communications

Telephones - fixed lines 85/219

total subscriptions: 840,000

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 3 (2014 est.)

Telephones - mobile cellular 52/217

total: 23.2 million

subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 75 (2014 est.)

Telephone system

general assessment: poor telephone and telegraph service; fair radiotelephone communication service and mobile-cellular telephone network

domestic: mobile-cellular telephone subscribership base is increasing with roughly 90% of the population living in areas covered by mobile carriers

international: country code - 977; radiotelephone communications; microwave and fiber landlines to India; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean) (2011)

Broadcast media

state operates 2 TV stations, as well as national and regional radio stations; roughly 30 independent TV channels are registered with only about half in regular operation; nearly 400 FM radio stations are licensed with roughly 300 operational (2007)

Radio broadcast stations

AM 6, FM 80, shortwave 4 (2008)

Television broadcast stations

9 (plus 9 repeaters) (2008)

Internet country code

.np

Internet hosts 100/232

41,256 (2012)

Internet users 80/217

total: 3.8 million

percent of population: 12.1% (2014 est.)

Transportation

Airports 95/236

47 (2013)

Airports - with paved runways

total: 11

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 3

914 to 1,523 m: 6

under 914 m: 1 (2013)

Airports - with unpaved runways

total: 36

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 6

under 914 m: 29 (2013)

Railways 131/136

total: 53 km

narrow gauge: 53 km 0.762-m gauge (2014)

Roadways 132/223

total: 10,844 km

paved: 4,952 km

unpaved: 5,892 km (2010)

Military and Security

Military branches

Nepal Army (2012)

Military service age and obligation

18 years of age for voluntary military service; no conscription (2014)

Military expenditures

NA% (2012)

1.41% of GDP (2011)

NA% (2010)

Transnational Issues

Disputes - international

joint border commission continues to work on contested sections of boundary with India, including the 400 sq km dispute over the source of the Kalapani River; India has instituted a stricter border regime to restrict transit of Maoist insurgents and illegal cross-border activities

Refugees and internally displaced persons

refugees (country of origin): 15,000 (Tibet/China) (2014); fewer than 18,000 (Bhutan) (2015)

IDPs: 40,700 (remaining from ten-year Maoist insurgency that officially ended in 2006; figure does not include people displaced since 2007 by inter-communal violence and insecurity in the Terai region; 2015 earthquakes) (2015)

stateless persons: undetermined (2013); note - in 2007-2008 the government distributed 2.6 million citizenship certificates to the 3.4 million people without one; the remaining 800,000 without citizenship certificates are not necessarily stateless, and the UNHCR is working with the Nepali Government to clarify their situation; smaller numbers of Bhutanese Hindu refugees of Nepali origin (the Lhotsampa) who were stripped of Bhutanese nationality and forced to flee their country in the late 1980s and early 1990s - and undocumented Tibetan refugees who arrived in Nepal prior to the 1990s - are considered stateless

Illicit drugs

illicit producer of cannabis and hashish for the domestic and international drug markets; transit point for opiates from Southeast Asia to the West