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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper presents Nepal’s Third Review under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) Arrangement. Nepal has made good progress with the implementation of the program, which has helped mitigate the impact of the pandemic and global shocks on economic activity, protect vulnerable groups, and preserve macroeconomic and financial stability. Nepal’s post-pandemic rebound, fuelled by a credit boom, ended 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 expenditure control. Policy priorities for sustained growth include enhancing capital expenditure while maintaining overall fiscal discipline and advancing reforms in areas such as banking regulation, governance, and business climate. Continued progress on the structural front is also needed to foster investment and growth that is more inclusive. These include improving the business climate, building human capital, and continuing to improve social safety nets, in particular the coverage of the child grant program.
International Monetary Fund. Statistics Dept. and International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Assistance (TA) paper on Nepal highlights the financial sector stability review. 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. The Nepal Rastra Bank has developed its approach to supervision and continuing to strengthen its capacity will help improve the resilience of the banking sector. Payment systems modernization efforts have gained momentum, but further progress is needed to improve the safety and efficiency of payment systems to support monetary policy and financial stability. Financial sector statistics in Nepal have scope for improvement. Currently, the monetary and financial statistics cover the central bank, and other depository corporations comprising of commercial banks, development banks, and finance companies, which accept deposits. The mission’s diagnostic review supports a TA plan. The main recommendations are summarized and the comprehensive TARM is provided in this paper.
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.