A survey on Youth Anxiety, Aspiration, and Activism, carried out by the Niti Foundation in partnership with the International Labour Organization (ILO), has disclosed that only 28% of youth in Nepal are aware of the government measures to support youth employment and entrepreneurship.
The survey, undertaken among 2,000 young people, focused on three key areas of their concerns, i.e., employment and livelihood, anxiety and mental wellbeing, and political awareness and engagement. It provides insights into the representation of youth interests in Nepalese society, politics, and the economy from a policy perspective.
The survey aimed to better understand the perceptions and anxieties of Nepalese youth amid the enormous impact of COVID-19 on this age group, revealing that youths in Nepal have faced many problems as a result of the pandemic. The major problems faced include transportation, access to medical facilities, loss of income, access to markets, food shortages, hampering of studies, and the shortage of agricultural inputs.
- According to the survey, only 34% of youth thought that the country was heading in the right direction whereas 84% said they had experienced anxiety due to COVID-19
- 44% of youths were not interested in politics at all whereas 40% said they were interested to some extent and only 5% said they were very interested
- Similarly, 63% of respondents who said they were very interested in politics were men while only 37% were women
- 42% of those surveyed think that sharing their dissatisfaction on social media is the best way to compel the government to hear their voices
- 58% faced problems associated with transportation followed by 54% with problems in accessing medical facilities, 52% with a loss of income, and 47% in accessing markets
- 74% of the respondents preferred to work in Nepal including 9% who wanted to work in the agricultural sector within the country
- Only 9% wanted to go abroad for foreign employment
- Among the 73 returnee migrants surveyed, only 4% were found to be on paid leave
- The major reasons for their return included job termination by companies due to COVID-19 which accounted for 29%, the non-renewal of contracts or visas which affected 23%, 19% were on unpaid leave and 18% had experienced non-payment of their salary by companies as per employment agreements
- 33% would prefer to leave the country again to find foreign labor while 5% would prefer to go overseas to study
- Out of the 28% of youth who knew about the government integration measures, only 22% have accessed these
- 41% of youth said they could not access the subsidized loans and grants from banks and other government entities to support their businesses or start-ups
- 65% of youth had received grants followed by 59% who had subsidized loans and 44% who had received agricultural tools
- 51% of the returnee youth prioritized working in Nepal, 18% preferred to start their own business, 19% preferred to search for a job, 14% expressed a preference to engage in agriculture and 11 % said they had no plans
In order to encourage youths to start businesses and enterprises in Nepal, the Government of Nepal has been implementing a wide range of programs including the Youth Self-Employment Fund, the Prime Minister Employment Program as well as subsidized loans. Unfortunately, 72% of the youth surveyed were found to be unaware of these measures.