On April 25 and May 2012 2015, two 7.8 and 7.3 magnitude earthquakes struck Nepal. The ground shook so violently it tore through the lives of millions of people living in the central and eastern parts of the country.
Nearly 9,000 people lost their lives - a third of them children. The earthquakes injured thousands; robbed the livelihoods of many more; and turned to rubble a huge number of homes, health posts and schools that faced the brunt of the quakes.
The immediate needs of Nepal’s children were massive. 70 per cent of birthing centres were damaged or destroyed in the most affected districts, leaving women and newborn babies without safe spaces to stay. Almost one million children were forced out of school.
Just 11 years old, this boy lost his home and two of his relatives in the Nepal earthquake. UNICEF provided psychosocial support to 180,570 children and caregivers to help them cope and recover. © UNICEF/UNI183743/Chen
When children in Nepal needed help, UNICEF supporters were there.
UNICEF’s response began on day one. We were ready for emergencies with life-saving supplies of clean water, sanitation and shelter for families who lost their homes. The incredible response to UNICEF’s global appeal for emergency funds meant we could set up temporary hospitals, stop the spread of deadly diseases and keep children safe from exploitation.
Akriti was severely malnourished with a sunken face and extremely thin body until she was treated with UNICEF's support. After a few weeks of treatment, she had recovered 10 per cent of her body weight and was soon healthy enough to head to class. © UNICEF/UNI199210/Shrestha
Every day since, UNICEF has been working to keep children safe and healthy, and to help families rebuild their lives.
All of this was thanks to the kindness of our donors. Because they cared, UNICEF could provide long-term health care, get kids back to school and give them the psychosocial support they needed to cope and recover from the worst natural disaster to hit Nepal in decades.
Since the earthquakes hit, UNICEF has:
- Delivered emergency and long-term water supplies to 1.3 million people.
- Reached 900,000 people at risk of diseases like diarrhoea and cholera with sanitation facilities and hygiene kits and information.
- Worked with child welfare authorities to identify almost 40,000 unaccompanied, separated and vulnerable children and help prevent family separation and exploitation
- Helped establish 1,793 temporary learning centres and gave education supplies to 881,000 children.
- Supported a nationwide polio immunisation campaign that reached 3.6 million under-five children to keep the disease out of the country.
There’s still much left to do for children in Nepal. With 80 per cent of health facilities and much of the country’s water and sanitation infrastructure destroyed in the quake, rebuilding will take years.
UNICEF will be there for children in Nepal - and wherever in the world emergency strikes - as long as they need us. Find out more about our current disaster and emergency relief appeals here.