More Nepali workers have died abroad than American soldiers in Iraq

Nepalese migrant worker
The body of an unidentified Nepali migrant worker being unloaded from a Qatar Airlines flight I Photo: Pulitzer Centre

22 December 2016: According to a website that records the number of coalition military fatalities in Iraq, at least 4512 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq since the war began in 2003.

Given how drawn-out, complex and twisted “the war on terror” has been, the high number of soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty is, sadly, understandable.

However, would you believe that far more Nepali men have died abroad in their sleep over the last eight years alone? That’s right, over 5000 (five thousand) migrant workers from the impoverished mountain nation have died silently in countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia? They were not fighting a war, apart from their personal battle with poverty.

An analysis of Nepal government data by Associated Press has now revealed that one out of 500 migrant workers from Nepal died last year – a scary statistics for family members of the hardworking men and women.

According to AP, most of these Nepali men died in their sleep, following a hard day’s work,  often amid hostile work conditions. Qatar is particularly notorious in this respect amid the ongoing World Cup stadium debacle.

The news agency claimed that researchers have now found similarity between these deaths of Nepali men and that of other Asian migrants elsewhere in the world. The name given to these mysterious deaths of Nepali migrant workers is Sudden Unexplained Nocturnal Death Syndrome. AP further added that “an international consortium is launching an investigation” into these deaths next year.

Hopefully, the research results would stop the daily arrivals of coffins at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu.

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