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Nepal (2002)

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Nepal 2002 year

Administrative divisions 14 zones (anchal, singular and plural); Bagmati, Bheri, Dhawalagiri, Gandaki, Janakpur, Karnali, Kosi, Lumbini, Mahakali, Mechi, Narayani, Rapti, Sagarmatha, Seti
Age structure 0-14 years: 40% (male 5,346,422; female 5,007,416)

15-64 years: 56.4% (male 7,476,202; female 7,125,471)

65 years and over: 3.6% (male 453,263; female 465,143) (2002 est.)
Agriculture - products rice, corn, wheat, sugarcane, root crops; milk, water buffalo meat
Airports 45 (2001)
Airports - with paved runways total: 9

over 3,047 m: 1

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 7 (2002)
Airports - with unpaved runways total: 36

1,524 to 2,437 m: 1

914 to 1,523 m: 7

under 914 m: 28 (2002)
Area total: 140,800 sq km

land: 136,800 sq km

water: 4,000 sq km
Area - comparative slightly larger than Arkansas
Background In 1951, the Nepalese monarch ended the century-old system of rule by hereditary premiers and instituted a cabinet system of government. Reforms in 1990 established a multiparty democracy within the framework of a constitutional monarchy. A maoist insugency, launched in 1996, has gained traction and is threatening to bring down the regime. Ten members of the royal family, including the king and queen, were massacred in a family dispute in 2001. In October 2002, the new king dismissed the prime minister and his cabinet for "incompetence" after they dissolved the parliament and were subsequently unable to hold elections because of the ongoing insurgency. The country is now governed by the king and his appointed cabinet until elections can be held at some unspecified future date.
Birth rate 32.94 births/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Budget revenues: $665 million

expenditures: $1.1 billion, including capital expenditures of $NA (FY99/00 est.)
Capital Kathmandu
Climate varies from cool summers and severe winters in north to subtropical summers and mild winters in south
Coastline 0 km (landlocked)
Constitution 9 November 1990
Country name conventional long form: Kingdom of Nepal

conventional short form: Nepal
Currency Nepalese rupee (NPR)
Death rate 10.03 deaths/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Debt - external $2.55 billion (FY00/01)
Diplomatic representation from the US chief of mission: Ambassador Michael E. MALINOWSKI

embassy: Panipokhari, Kathmandu

mailing address: use embassy street address

telephone: [977] (1) 411179

FAX: [977] (1) 419963
Diplomatic representation in the US chief of mission: Ambassador-designate Jai Pratap RANA

chancery: 2131 Leroy Place NW, Washington, DC 20008

telephone: [1] (202) 667-4550

FAX: [1] (202) 667-5534

consulate(s) general: New York
Disputes - international formed Joint Border committee with India in 2001 to resolve 53 disputed sections of boundary covering an area of 720 sq km; approximately 100,000 Bhutanese refugees living in Nepal, 90% of whom reside in seven UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees camps, place decades-long strains on Nepal
Economic aid - recipient $424 million (FY00/01)
Economy - overview Nepal is among the poorest and least developed countries in the world with nearly half of its population living below the poverty line. Agriculture is the mainstay of the economy, providing a livelihood for over 80% of the population and accounting for 41% of GDP. Industrial activity mainly involves the processing of agricultural produce including jute, sugarcane, tobacco, and grain. Textile and carpet production, accounteing for about 80% of foreign exchange earnings in recent years, contracted significantly in 2001 due to the overall slowdown in the world economy and pressures by Maoist insurgents on factory owners and workers. Security concerns in the wake of Maoist activity, the June massacre of many members of the royal family, and the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US led to a decrease in tourism, another key source of foreign exchange. Agricultural production is growing by about 5% on average as compared with annual population growth of 2.3%. Since May 1991, the government has been moving forward with economic reforms, particularly those that encourage trade and foreign investment, e.g., by reducing business licenses and registration requirements to simplify investment procedures. The government has also been cutting expenditures by reducing subsidies, privatizing state industries, and laying off civil servants. More recently, however, political instability - five different governments over the past few years - has hampered Kathmandu's ability to forge consensus to implement key economic reforms. Nepal has considerable scope for accelerating economic growth by exploiting its potential in hydropower and tourism, areas of recent foreign investment interest. Prospects for foreign trade or investment in other sectors will remain poor, however, because of the small size of the economy, its technological backwardness, its remoteness, its landlocked geographic location, and its susceptibility to natural disaster. The international community's role of funding more than 60% of Nepal's development budget and more than 28% of total budgetary expenditures will likely continue as a major ingredient of growth.
Electricity - consumption 1.431 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - exports 95 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - imports 174 million kWh (2000)
Electricity - production 1.454 billion kWh (2000)
Electricity - production by source fossil fuel: 10%

hydro: 90%

nuclear: 0%

other: 0% (2000)
Elevation extremes lowest point: Kanchan Kalan 70 m

highest point: Mount Everest 8,850 m (1999 est.)
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, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation
Ethnic groups Brahman, Chetri, Newar, Gurung, Magar, Tamang, Rai, Limbu, Sherpa, Tharu, and others (1995)
Exchange rates Nepalese rupees per US dollar - 76.675 (January 2002), 74.961 (2001), 71.094 (2000), 68.239 (1999), 65.976 (1998), 58.010 (1997)
Executive branch chief of state: King GYANENDRA Bir Bikram Shah (succeeded to the throne 4 June 2001 following the death of his nephew, King DIPENDRA Bir Bikram Shah)

head of government: Prime Minister Lokendra Bahadur CHAND (since 11 October 2002)

cabinet: Cabinet appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the prime minister

elections: none; the monarch is hereditary; following legislative elections, the leader of the majority party or leader of a majority coalition is usually appointed prime minister by the monarch

note: King BIRENDRA Bir Bikram Shah Dev died in a bloody shooting at the royal palace on 1 June 2001 that also claimed the lives of most of the royal family; King BIRENDRA's son, Crown Price DIPENDRA, is believed to have been responsible for the shootings before fatally wounding himself; immediately following the shootings and while still clinging to life, DIPENDRA was crowned king; he died three days later and was succeeded by his uncle
Exports 95 million kWh (2000)
Exports $757 million f.o.b., but does not include unrecorded border trade with India (FY00/01 est.)
Exports - commodities carpets, clothing, leather goods, jute goods, grain
Exports - partners India 48%, US 26%, Germany 11% (FY00/01)
Fiscal year 16 July - 15 July
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 bears a white 12-pointed sun
GDP purchasing power parity - $35.6 billion (2001 est.)
GDP - composition by sector agriculture: 41%

industry: 22%

services: 37% (2000 est.)
GDP - per capita purchasing power parity - $1,400 (2001 est.)
GDP - real growth rate 2.6% (2001 est.)
Geographic coordinates 28 00 N, 84 00 E
Geography - note landlocked; strategic location between China and India; contains eight of world's 10 highest peaks, including Mount Everest - the world's tallest - on the border with China
Highways total: 13,223 km

paved: 4,073 km

unpaved: 9,150 km (April 1999)
Household income or consumption by percentage share lowest 10%: 3%

highest 10%: 30% (1995-96)
Illicit drugs illicit producer of cannabis for the domestic and international drug markets; transit point for opiates from Southeast Asia to the West
Imports 174 million kWh (2000)
Imports $1.6 billion f.o.b. (FY00/01 est.)
Imports - commodities gold, machinery and equipment, petroleum products, fertilizer
Imports - partners India 39%, Singapore 10%, China/Hong Kong 9%, (FY00/01)
Independence 1768 (unified by Prithvi Narayan Shah)
Industrial production growth rate 8.7% (FY99/00)
Industries tourism, carpet, textile; small rice, jute, sugar, and oilseed mills; cigarette; cement and brick production
Infant mortality rate 72.36 deaths/1,000 live births (2002 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices) 2.1%
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) 6 (2000)
Irrigated land 11,350 sq km (1998 est.)
Judicial branch Supreme Court or Sarbochha Adalat (chief justice is appointed by the monarch on recommendation of the Constitutional Council; the other judges are appointed by the monarch on the recommendation of the Judicial Council)
Labor force 10 million

note: severe lack of skilled labor (1996 est.)
Labor force - by occupation agriculture 81%, services 16%, industry 3%
Land boundaries total: 2,926 km

border countries: China 1,236 km, India 1,690 km
Land use arable land: 20.27%

permanent crops: 0.49%

other: 79.24% (1998 est.)
Languages Nepali (official; spoken by 90% of the population), about a dozen other languages and about 30 major dialects; note - many in government and business also speak English (1995)
Legal system based on Hindu legal concepts and English common law; has not accepted compulsory ICJ jurisdiction
Legislative branch note: Nepal's Parliament was dissolved on 22 May 2002 and elections are scheduled for 13 November 2002

bicameral Parliament consists of the National Council (60 seats; 35 appointed by the House of Representatives, 10 by the king, and 15 elected by an electoral college; one-third of the members elected every two years to serve six-year terms) and the House of Representatives (205 seats; members elected by popular vote to serve five-year terms)

elections: House of Representatives - last held 3 and 17 May 1999 (next to be held 13 November 2002)

election results: House of Representatives - percent of vote by party - NC 37.3%, CPN/UML 31.6%, NDP 10.4%, NSP 3.2%, Rastriya Jana Morcha 1.4%, Samyukta Janmorcha Nepal 0.8%, NWPP 0.5%, others 14.8%; seats by party - NC 113, CPN/UML 69, NDP 11, NSP 5, Rastriya Jana Morcha 5, Samyukta Janmorcha Nepal 1, NWPP 1
Life expectancy at birth total population: 58.61 years

male: 59.01 years

female: 58.2 years (2002 est.)
Literacy definition: age 15 and over can read and write

total population: 27.5%

male: 40.9%

female: 14% (1995 est.)
Location Southern Asia, between China and India
Map references Asia
Maritime claims none (landlocked)
Military branches Royal Nepalese Army (includes Royal Nepalese Army Air Service), Nepalese Police Force
Military expenditures - dollar figure $51.5 million (FY01)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP 1% (FY01)
Military manpower - availability males age 15-49: 6,484,343 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - fit for military service males age 15-49: 3,369,454 (2002 est.)
Military manpower - military age 17 years of age (2002 est.)
Military manpower - reaching military age annually males: 292,589 (2002 est.)
National holiday Birthday of King GYANENDRA, 7 July (1946)
Nationality noun: Nepalese (singular and plural)

adjective: Nepalese
Natural hazards severe thunderstorms, flooding, landslides, drought, and famine depending on the timing, intensity, and duration of the summer monsoons
Natural resources quartz, water, timber, hydropower, scenic beauty, small deposits of lignite, copper, cobalt, iron ore
Net migration rate 0 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2002 est.)
Political parties and leaders Communist Party of Nepal/United Marxist-Leninist or CPN/UML [Madhav Kumar NEPAL, general secretary]; National Democratic Party or NDP (also called Rastriya Prajantra Party or RPP) [Surya Bahadur THAPA, chairman]; National People's Front (Rastriya Jana Morcha) [Chitra Bahadur, chairman]; Nepal Sadbhavana (Goodwill) Party or NSP [Bhadri Prasad MANDAL, acting party president]; Nepal Workers and Peasants Party or NWPP [Narayan Man BIJUKCHHE, party chair]; Nepali Congress or NC [Girija Prasad KOIRALA, party president, Sushil KOIRALA, general secretary]; Samyukta Janmorcha Nepal [Lila Mani POKHAREL, general secretary]
Political pressure groups and leaders Maoist guerrilla-based insurgency; numerous small, left-leaning student groups in the capital; several small, radical Nepalese antimonarchist groups
Population 25,873,917 (July 2002 est.)
Population below poverty line 42% (FY95/96 est. )
Population growth rate 2.29% (2002 est.)
Ports and harbors none
Radio broadcast stations AM 6, FM 5, shortwave 1 (January 2000)
Radios 840,000 (1997)
Railways total: 59 km

narrow gauge: 59 km 0.762-m gauge

note: all in Kosi close to Indian border (2001)
Religions Hinduism 86.2%, Buddhism 7.8%, Islam 3.8%, other 2.2%

note: only official Hindu state in the world (1995)
Sex ratio at birth: 1.05 male(s)/female

under 15 years: 1.07 male(s)/female

15-64 years: 1.05 male(s)/female

65 years and over: 0.97 male(s)/female

total population: 1.05 male(s)/female (2002 est.)
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Telephone system general assessment: poor telephone and telegraph service; fair radiotelephone communication service and mobile cellular telephone network

domestic: NA

international: radiotelephone communications; microwave landline to India; satellite earth station - 1 Intelsat (Indian Ocean)
Telephones - main lines in use 236,816 (January 2000)
Telephones - mobile cellular NA
Television broadcast stations 1 (plus 9 repeaters) (1998)
Terrain Terai or flat river plain of the Ganges in south, central hill region, rugged Himalayas in north
Total fertility rate 4.48 children born/woman (2002 est.)
Unemployment rate 47% (2001 est.)
Waterways none
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