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This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

Nepal is going through a sensitive and fluid political situation. The decade-long Maoist insurgency has taken a toll of about 13,000 lives. The conflict has hampered the delivery of basic services, restricted development assistance and caused a breakdown of family and community networks. Its heaviest impacts fall on women and children.


Issues facing children in Nepal

  • More than 50,000 children die in Nepal each year, with malnutrition as the underlying cause for more than 60 per cent of these deaths.
  • Half of the children in Nepal are underweight and three-fourths of the pregnant women are anaemic.
  • The detection of a few cases of wild polio virus in 2005, following five years without any case, indicates the challenge for cross-border transmission along the border with India.
  • Fifteen per cent of Nepal’s wells are contaminated by arsenic. Despite Nepal's high overall coverage of accessibility to drinking water, access to improved water for deprived, disadvantaged communities and conflict-affected rural and fringe urban areas remains low.
  • Two-thirds of Nepalis are still without access to toilets.
  • Maternal mortality rates are high due to weak health systems with limited access to emergency obstetric care, skilled attendance and the overall poor status of women. Neonatal mortality rates are also unacceptably high due in part to lack of community awareness on appropriate care of the newborn.
  • The conflict has had a significant impact on education. Forced closures of schools due to strikes have cut the school year in half in some areas. Teachers have been threatened, assaulted and even killed. Thousands of students have been taken from school for political indoctrination, and some have been recruited into the Maoist forces or militia.

Activities and results for children

  • The Decentralized Action for Children and Women (DACAW) programme has proven effective through its strategy of strengthening community action. To guide the expansion of DACAW efforts, UNICEF has helped to conduct a mapping of disadvantaged groups covering 300,000 households in 237 villages and 8 municipalities.
  • Nearly 60,000 boys and girls, 20 per cent from disadvantaged groups, are active in some 3,000 child clubs supported by UNICEF.
  • A national measles campaign has immunized nearly 10 million children.
  • In 2005, the World Health Organization validated the elimination of neo-natal tetanus from Nepal.
  • A programme to de-worm children and provide vitamin A supplements is significantly reducing anaemia and malnutrition rates. The vitamin A effort is saving over 12,000 children’s lives and preventing another 2,000 from going blind every year.
  • The ‘Welcome to School’ campaign initiated by UNICEF has greatly increased enrolment and literacy rates for girls and disadvantaged children, and has raised overall birth registration rates.
  • UNICEF has helped to establish over 300 community-based paralegal committees to respond to issues like domestic violence.
  • More than 1000 school-based child clubs are promoting sanitation and hygiene programmes in their communities.
  • In 2005, UNICEF initiated with its partners a mechanism to monitor and report child rights violations in the context of armed conflict.



Basic Indicators

Under-5 mortality rank


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 1990


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 2012


U5MR by sex 2012, male


U5MR by sex 2012, female


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 1990


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 2012


Neonatal mortality rate 2012


Total population (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of births (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of under-5 deaths (thousands) 2012


GNI per capita (US$) 2012


Life expectancy at birth (years) 2012


Total adult literacy rate (%) 2008-2012*


Primary school net enrolment ratio (%) 2008-2011*

Definitions and data sources [popup]

Source: The State of the World's Children

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