Which country has the poorest inhabitants?

Poor country on the southern edge of the Himalayas

The earthquake in Central Asia hit an already badly shaken people. With an annual per capita income of 692 US dollars (around 500 euros), Nepal is one of the 20 poorest countries in the world. At 65.9 years for men and 68.6 years for women, the Nepalese have the lowest life expectancy in Asia; almost half of the children are chronically malnourished.

Almost 31 million people live in the state on the southern edge of the Himalayas, which is somewhat larger than Greece at around 147,200 square kilometers. For seven years now, the population has been recovering from a ten-year civil war that has severely affected the country. In 2008, a constituent assembly in the capital Kathmandu made Nepal a republic, ending the Hindu monarchy that had existed for 240 years.

Dependence on tourism

Tourism is an important economic factor. In addition to Kathmandu with its world cultural heritage sites, the high mountain landscape on the border with Tibet attracts holidaymakers. The most recent figures are from 2012, when around 800,000 tourists visited the country. One of the most popular trekking routes is the way to Mount Everest, on which at least 18 people were killed in the earthquake on Saturday and an avalanche triggered by it.

Danger of earthquakes in the Himalayas

Like the entire Himalayan region, Nepal is extremely prone to earthquakes. The quakes occur when clods of rock in the deeper area of ​​the earth's crust shift jerkily. In the Himalayas, the Indian plate pushes against Afghanistan and Tibet on the Eurasian plate from the south. This is why the earth frequently shakes at the interface from Pakistan to Nepal and Myanmar.

Help for Nepal starts

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) now wants to quickly evaluate the country's financial needs. A team of experts could travel to Nepal to help the government assess the macroeconomic situation and its financial needs, said IMF chief Christine Lagarde in Washington. The IMF is coordinating with the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and other organizations to assess the impact of the disaster and determine how best to help. The USA and the EU, China and Russia also pledged support.

© Sz.de/dpa/Reuters/AFP/feko/ina