The Shiite-Sunni conflict and diminishing petro-earnings will affect two millions Nepali workers in the Middle East.
The Middle East is once again in limelight due to the simmering diplomatic tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia and the constantly falling price of fossil fuel. While the world watches these major developments, Nepal needs to be vigilant and at the same time start preparing for the contingency. The potential sectarian violence, if not a full-fledged inter-state war, due to Shiite and Sunni divide, and the shrinking economies of the Gulf States with diminishing petro-earnings, will profoundly affect nearly two millions migrant Nepali workers there.
The region has also become a theater for proxy war between major powers as seen in Syria now. Even a minor trigger can push the entire region into chaos. As our economy is heavily reliant on remittance, which accounts for close to 30 percent of the GDP, any economic downturn, sectarian violence and instability in the Middle East could easily push Nepal into an economic crisis. Continue reading