We work to enhance community capacity and resilience through risk-informed programming to prevent, mitigate, adapt, prepare for and respond to disaster risks and climate change
“Disaster is matter of ‘when’ rather than ‘if’ in Nepal”
UNICEF has a long history of working in emergencies and humanitarian contexts, both natural and man-made. Wherever there is a crisis, UNICEF strives to reach children and families in the hardest hit areas with lifesaving interventions.
Nepal is highly prone to a range of natural hazards, particularly floods, landslides and earthquakes. It ranks 11th and 16th globally in terms of vulnerability to earthquakes and multi hazards respectively. Nepal is geographically located above the point where the Indian Subcontinent and Eurasian tectonic plates collide, resulting in recurring large-scale earthquakes.
Likewise, Nepal is ranked 4th most vulnerable country in the world in terms of Maplecroft’s Climate Change Vulnerability Index in 2011 with the rating of “Severe” which is the highest category . The country is also vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and is experiencing rising temperatures and erratic precipitation.
Climate change increases the frequency of natural calamities such as droughts, floods and severe weather events.These disasters spread diseases, droughts, and impacts livelihoods and agricultural production. Although climate change ultimately impacts everyone, children face some of the most immediate risks. Not only does these disasters pose unique physical threats to children’s bodies and minds, they also feel these effects longer than adults. The 2015 Nepal earthquakes killed more than 8,900 people of whom approximately 33 per cent were children.
“Over 86 per cent of households in the country has reported to have experienced droughts one way or another in the past 25 years.”
Climate change also makes existing inequities even worse. The risk associated with them, flood and drought zones often overlap with areas of high poverty and low access to essential services such as water and sanitation, and this is certainly the case in Nepal where the two most deprived provinces of the country, that is, Mid-Western or “Karnali province” and the Southern plains of “Province 2” are suffering most from repeated spells of drought and floods.
“Climate change and extreme disasters threaten to reverse development gains and put more than 18 million people into poverty by 2030.”
While climate change poses universal threats, tackling it is also an imperative the sake of equity, and giving special attention to children, adolescents and vulnerable families and communities is of utmost importance.
In this country programme action plan, UNICEF is working to mainstream disaster risk reduction; disaster preparedness, response, recovery and climate change adaptation. For this, stronger coordination and collaboration is being promoted to inform risk programming between federal, provincial and local governments. We are also working to:
- Support the Government to update its Disaster Preparedness and Response Plan
- Assist to prepare emergency preparedness plans, relief measures and rehabilitation services for women, adolescent and children
- Ensure implementation of the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRR&M) Act, Local Governance Act and the National DRR Policy and Strategic Action Plan. These documents serve as Nepal’s roadmap for the country-level implementation of the Sendai Framework for DRR (2015-2030).
- Support local governments to develop and implement the Local Disaster management plan, National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA) and local adaptation plans for action (LAPAs).
- Promote child-centred DRR and CCA to emphasize the importance of disaster and climate risk assessments and take children’s vulnerabilities and special needs into account.