IOM in Nepal
Nepal became an IOM member state in 2006. In 2007, the Government of Nepal (GoN) and IOM signed a Cooperation Agreement to encourage cooperation and the delivery of services to Nepal, which is a country of origin, transit and destination of migration. IOM’s initial focus was on the resettlement of Bhutanese refugees. Since then, IOM has expanded significantly both in terms of programme areas and target populations and has been contributing to the government of Nepal’s efforts to manage migration more effectively through a wide range of programmes such as Refugee Resettlement, Migration and Health, Emergency Response; Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience; Land, Property & Reparation; Migration, Environment and Climate Change; Labour Migration; Migrant Assistance & Protection; and Migration & Development. IOM Nepal also supports Regional Consultative Processes on Migration with technical expertise, policy guidance, research, capacity building and targeted project initiatives.
IOM is a member of United Nations Country Team and works within the UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) whose strategic areas are derived from the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and Nepal’s Fourteenth National Development Plan.
Overview of Nepal
Nepal is governed according to the Constitution of Nepal 2015. The Constitution, which has transformed Republic of Nepal into a federal state, came out following a decade-long armed insurgency that ended in 2006 and another nearly decade-long political transition.
Nepal has a long history of dynamic population mobility and recent years have seen an increase in the complexity of migration patterns. Increasing number of Nepalese, especially the youth, are seeking better opportunities abroad. Over half of all Nepali households have at least one migrant family member currently abroad or living in Nepal as a returnee. International migration and remittances have played a pivotal role in Nepal’s economic development and poverty reduction. The scale of the dependence on migration and remittances is illustrated by remittances constituting 29 per cent of the country’s gross product (GDP). At the same time, however, migration experiences often come with risks and vulnerabilities. Many migrants face abuse, forced labour, exploitation, health risks and life-threatening conditions.
Nepal is one of the most disaster prone countries in the world. It is exposed to multiple recurrent natural disasters which have destroyed thousands of lives and millions of houses over the decades. Furthermore, the adverse impacts of climate change for livelihoods, food security and water availability are likely to exacerbate existing vulnerabilities and increase overall levels of migration in the coming decades.