The Current

Nepal's economy in peril after earthquakes

Nepal's economy could be set back a decade. The two severe quakes hit the relentless tourism industry and also remittances, which make up close to one-third of Nepal's GDP. Now both these economic drivers are in limbo. Today we look at how an earthquake has shaken an entire economy.
Wreckage of destroyed homes in the village of Satungal on the outskirts of Kathmandu. With more aftershocks rocking the Himalayan nation of Nepal this week, we look into two pillars of its economy - tourism and remittances. (Philippe Lope/AFP/Getty Images)

Rocks slide down a Himalayan mountainside, loosened by yesterday's aftershocks in Nepal. These new tremors may have been predictable after last month's devastating earthquake....But they're the last thing a country beginning its long road to recovery needs. 

A rescuer carries a man on his back as authorities carry out rescue operations after a fresh 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit Nepal, in Gyirong county, Tibet Autonomous Region, China. (REUTERS/Stringer )

Many fear that the earthquakes will send shocks right through two key parts of the country's economy, threatening two sources of revenue the developing nation depends on. Those are tourism dollars and financial support flowing into the country in the form of remittances.

Today, we're taking a look at the economic toll of the earthquakes in Nepal. And we're starting right here, at home.

Nani Gautam is from Nepal. She has been living here in Canada for the last five years. Her daughter and parents are still in Kathmandu.  Nani Gautam joined us in our Toronto studio.

As the dust settles after yesterday's Nepalese quake, many locals who depend on tourists' dollars can't help but wonder about the fate of their industry. Travellers and trekkers are one of the key driver's of Nepal's economy.

Tom Carter is a Canadian who organizes and leads treks in Nepal. He's the owner and head guide at Moon Mountain Adventures. Tom Carter was in Parksville, B.C.

Dollars from tourists may be an important source of the Nepalese economy. But dollars sent into the country in the form of remittances,usually from friends and family members living abroad, make up 30% of Nepal's gross domestic product. And that number has been on the rise over the past decade.

Dilip Ratha is the lead economist for migration and remittances with The World Bank and he is in Washington D.C.

This segment was produced by The Current's Lara O'Brien, Shannon Higgins and Natalie Walters.