Monday, June 20, 2011

Nepal is 27th most failed states as of FSI- 2011

Nepal ranked 27th in the list of the "most failed states", according to the annual ranking prepared by the Foreign Policy magazine and released on June 20, 2011.
With Nepal, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka -- are also in the list of the most failed states.
The Fund for Peace today released the seventh edition of its annual Failed States Index (FSI), highlighting global political, economic and social pressures experienced by states. Foreign Policy magazine, which collaborates on the FSI with The Fund for Peace, has feature articles based on the FSI in its issue.
Pakistan is at number 12, Myanmar is at 18, Bangladesh (25); Sri Lanka (29) and Bhutan is at 50 in a list of 60 countries in which African countries dominate.
Other countries in the top 10 are Chad, Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Zimbabwe, Afghanistan Central African Republic and Iraq.
On Pakistan, the report said, "Pakistan has long been dubbed the world's most dangerous country in Washington policy circles" and "yet Pakistan isn't just dangerous for the West -- it's often a danger to its own people."
On Bangladesh, the report said, two of five Bangladeshis live under the poverty line. Any improvements will also be fighting the environmental clock. If sea levels rise just by 1 metre, scientists warn, 17 percent of the country could be submerged.
"Nepal is the poorest country in South Asia, according to the United Nations, and that's unlikely to change until the peace process is implemented and security restored. There are signs that the Maoists may be losing patience -- and thinking about going back to the trenches to fight for more," the report said.
On Sri Lanka, it said, "The government's final push against the rebels relied on the shelling of civilians and other atrocities, according to a 2010 report by the International Crisis Group.”
"The most recent statistics from last year indicate that some 327,000 are still displaced from the conflict."
"Despite the pronounced fractures still lingering, the Sinhalese-dominated government in Colombo seems eager to forget the past," it added.
The 2011 FSI ranks Somalia as number one for the fourth consecutive year, citing widespread lawlessness, ineffective government, terrorism, insurgency, crime, and well-publicized pirate attacks against foreign vessels.
Finland has displaced Norway from the best position for the first time. Slight fluctuations in demographic and economic indicators, though minimal, lowered Norway's scores, allowing Finland, with continued its stability, to slip in front of its Nordic neighbor.
The FSI ranks 177 countries using 12 social, economic, and political indicators of pressure on the state, along with over 100 sub-indicators. These include such issues as Uneven Development, State Legitimacy, Group Grievance, and Human Rights. Each indicator is rated on a scale of 1-10, based on the analysis of millions of publicly available documents, other quantitative data, and assessments by analysts. A high score indicates high pressure on the state, and therefore a higher risk of instability.
Other notable changes this year include countries affected by natural disasters. Haiti, which suffered the greatest decline in the 2011 FSI, shot to fifth place in the index, largely as a result of the January 2010 earthquake and its aftermath. Natural disasters, including earthquakes, floods and drought, likewise affected scores in countries as diverse as New Zealand, Chile, Benin and Nigeria.
Greece and Ireland declined from the 2010 FSI as economic crisis have adversely affected their economic indicators. A loss of confidence in the state, coinciding with the state's lessened capacity to provide public services, have led to growing social pressures.
Georgia is the most improved nation, reaping the benefits of new accountability and transparency measures in the security sector and a government crackdown on corruption. A reduced threat of conflict with neighboring Russia further improved scores.
The Fund for Peace is an independent research and educational organization based in Washington, DC, with the mission to prevent conflict and promote sustainable security. Visit The Fund for Peace website at for more information on its work.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Global Economic Prospects- 2011

Remittances expanded by 17 per cent in dollar terms in 2010 supported in part by vibrant growth in India, a key source-country for Nepali remittances, according to Global Economic Prospects (GEP) 2011 report released on 8th June 2011 by the World Bank (WB).
The bank flagship report on world economy GEP has projected that Pakistan and Nepal are expected to lag behind in economic progress in the South, given continued political challenges and associated macro-policy slippage.
The GEP 2011 pointed out that the region’s relatively strong projected growth path - reaching 7.9 percent in 2013 as compared with the 6.0 percent average from 1998 through 2007 (compound growth rate) - is projected to be led by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, where acceleration of investment activity is expected to support higher growth outturns. In contrast, Pakistan and Nepal are expected to lag, given continued political challenges and associated macro-policy slippage. Indeed, GDP growth in Pakistan is not projected to recover to above the pre-crisis decadal average of 5.0 percent during the forecast period.
Nepal had received Rs 231.72 billion in remittance in 2009-10 and in the nine months of the current fiscal year, it has already received Rs 181.84 billion. “Worker remittance inflows to South Asia rose by 8.2 per cent in 2010 to $81billion, helping to offset sizeable trade deficits,remaining a critical source of foreign exchange,”the mulatilateral agency’s report said.
However, when measured in local currency terms, remittances inflows to the region grew by only 4.1 per cent in 2010, while high inflation rates meant that the real value of the inflows declined by 3.9 per cent. The pick-up in dollar value of remittances was strongest in Sri Lanka, where it increased by 24 per cent in 2010, reflecting increased inflows through official channels and the boost inconfidence following the end of the civil war.
In India, the uptick in the dollar value of remittances inflows was more modest (7.4 per cent), reflecting larger shares of Indian migrants in high-income countries that have yet to fully recover from the financial crisis.
Elsewhere in the region, remittances inflows moderated sharply in 2010 — in dollar terms — by 2.7 per cent in Bangladesh, following 19.4 per cent growth in 2009, the report said, adding that the deceleration appears to partly reflect a delayed impact of the decline in the net outflow of migrants, which nearly halved during the first half of 2009 and continued to decline in 2010 and into early-2011.
Similarly, South Asian current account deficit deteriorated in early 2011, reflecting higher oil import bills and strong, albeit moderating, import volume growth.
Helping to contain the deterioration in external balances, the region recorded strong export volume growth in early-2011 — led by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka — supported by strong external demand from China, the report added.
During calendar year 2011, the regional current account deficit is projected to expand to 2.8 per cent as a share of GDP from 2.4 per cent in 2010. “It reflects a projected shrinking of Bangladesh’s current account surplus, due to a stronger pace of growth in imports over exports, falling terms of trade — driven by rising international food and fuel prices — and a major slowdown in worker remittances receipts.”
Meanwhile, FDI to the region has fallen and regional current account deficit is expected to continue to be covered by significant foreign exchange reserve holdings, particularly in India, and sustained capital inflow.
Nepal experienced a moderation in activity in early-2011, it said, adding that ongoing political uncertainty attached to the post-conflict transition to a new government has extended into its fourth year, with law and order problems, continued extensive infrastructure bottlenecks — particularly widespread load-shedding and unreliable power delivery — projected to limit real GDP growth to 3.5 per cent.
"Globally, GDP is expected to grow 3.2 percent in 2011 before edging up to 3.6 percent in 2012.
"But further increases in already high oil and food prices could significantly curb economic growth and hurt the poor."
The bank predicted economic growth in developing countries will slow to around 6.3 percent each year from 2011 to 2013, from 7.3 percent in 2010.
High-income countries will see growth slow to 2.2 percent in 2011, from 2.7 percent in 2010, before picking up to 2.7 percent in 2012 and 2.6 percent in 2013, it said.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Nepal : 7th/13 dangerous countries for press

Nepal ranked 7th among 13 most dangerous countries for journalists in the world by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a US-based media watchdog. The organization has updated its 2011 Impunity Index and released on 1 June 2011.
In its full report titled Getting Away with Murder, the CPJ said that Iraq remains at the top of the list for the fourth consecutive year for violence against journalists, where none of the 92 murdered journalist cases were solved.
According to the CPJ website, impunity is the main factor in evaluating the levels of freedom of journalists and speech. Unsolved anti-press crimes most often result to restriction of the freedom of the press.
The 12 other countries that received the shameful distinction in descending order based on number of murdered journalists per one million population are: Somalia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Colombia, Afghanistan, Nepal, Mexico, Russia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Brazil and India.
The Philippines maintained its third most dangerous country for journalists status from last year when the watchdog recorded 69 crimes since 1992.
The CPJ stated, "Initial trial proceedings in the Maguindanao killings have been plagued by threats and bribes targeting witnesses, and incompetence and corruption among local investigators. The slow-moving prosecution has yielded no convictions thus far. "In countries with weak law enforcement, political reporting is the most dangerous beat. Among the unsolved cases on this index, nearly 30 percent of victims had covered politics."
First published in 2008, the Impunity Index gauges countries where media people are killed regularly and the state fail to have them solved. When no convictions are made, they are considered unsolved.
Nepal's part on the report :
Six local reporters and editors have been murdered with complete impunity in the past decade. Maoist cadres are suspected in a number of the killings, including the 2007 murder of reporter Birendra Shah, whose coverage had been critical of what was then an armed Maoist insurgency. After joining the government in 2008, Maoist leaders pledged to investigate the numerous press freedom violations that had been ascribed to their members, including several non-fatal attacks and abductions. Yet no evident progress has been made in achieving justice.
Impunity Index Rating: 0.205 unsolved journalist murders per 1 million inhabitants.
Last year: Ranked 7th with a rating of 0.210.

To read full report click here.