"A landlocked Himalayan kingdom between India and China, Nepal ranks among the world's poorest countries. In 1990, following a democratization movement, the country became a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch. Although this led to a process of economic restructuring and market liberalization, more than a decade of political instability and nearly seven years of increasingly dire internal security challenges have seriously hampered Nepal's economic growth and reform efforts. After several years of relatively robust growth, the economy is reported to have contracted in the fiscal year ending July 2002."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31599