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250 Nepali Migrant Workers Die in first 4 months of the year

On April 26, 2014

Two Nepali migrant workers die every day on average while working overseas, according to data obtained from Nepal's Foreign Employment Promotion Board (FEPB) by daily paper Republica.

The death toll of Nepali migrant workers in the first four months of 2014 alone is 250, according to FEPB's records.

The number of deaths registered by FEPB has increased by around 60% over the past four years, rising from 520 in 2010 to 828 in 2013. 

The increased figure is partly due to the fact that more Nepalis migrate overseas - today, around 400,000 go abroad for work each year compared with 100,000 about 10 years ago, said Tika Bhandarai, acting executive director of the FEPB.

However, many more deaths may go unreported.

According to another report from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, four or five bodies of migrant workers arrive at Tribhuvan Airport in Kathmandu from the Gulf and Malaysia every day. The MoFA is now working to compile more accurate data on the causes of deaths of migrant workers, plus information on the individual's sex, age and occupation.

Heat, stress and unsafe working conditions have been identified by the MoFA as leading causes of death.

Around 400 Nepali nationals have died in Qatar alone since the Gulf country won its bid to host the FIFA World Cup. An estimated 600,000 Nepali nationals work in Qatar in the construction, manufacturing and service sectors.