Households facing income, consumption shocks

KATHMANDU: Many households have faced negative incomes and consumption shocks, resulting in a greater need for social protection and insulation from vulnerabilities in the aftermath of the April 25 earthquake.

Using welfare analysis, it is estimated that the earthquake would cause average household consumption in most affected districts to decline by 20 per cent.

The conditions of households that were already vulnerable prior to the earthquake are likely to be exacerbated, according to the key findings of Post Disaster Needs Assessment published by the National Planning Commission yesterday.

About Rs 23.5 billion is needed to restore consumption of vulnerable groups (households with persons with disabilities, single women, children and elderly) in the most affected 14 districts to their pre-earthquake levels. This estimate increases to about Rs 32.7 billion if vulnerable households in all the 31 affected districts are covered.

The estimated welfare losses further increase to Rs 47.5 billion if all households in the most affected 14 districts are covered, said PDNA, adding, if all households in the affected 31 districts are covered, the estimated welfare losses reach Rs 63 billion.

According to PDNA, a majority of the informal sector workers are women who are more vulnerable than men, and the agriculture sector is dominated by them. The loss of agricultural inputs may lead to a severe decline in agricultural productivity in the coming season.

“Female farmers who are dependent on the sector may take longer to recover than their male counterparts, who are more reliant on the non-agricultural sector. The more deprived sections such as Dalits, marginalised ethnic minorities and people living in remote geographical regions are deprived of access to social services as it is,” it said.