- Eight million people are affected across Nepal
- Some 70,000 houses were destroyed and another 530,000 homes damaged across 39 of Nepal’s 75 districts
- UNDP will be providing support aimed at debris removal and other recovery interventions
- Latest government figures indicate over 4,800 dead, and over 10,194 people injured. Eight million people are affected across Nepal. The final toll maybe higher as emergency response teams gradually open up blocked areas in remote areas to rescue those who remain trapped, including those near Mt. Everest.
On 25 April, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal and northern India. Over 15 powerful aftershocks rocked Nepal within 24-hours after the initial impact. The earthquake is the worst disaster to hit Nepal since the 1934 earthquake.
The earthquake occurred during the height of tourist season which has resulted in many people being trapped in very remote areas which remain inaccessible for search and rescue crews. An estimated eight million people living in about 40 percent of Nepal have been affected. Some 70,000 houses were destroyed and another 530,000 homes damaged across 39 of Nepal’s 75 districts. Millions of people are in need of food assistance.
The first 72-hours after the devastating earthquake is critical for rescuing survivors trapped underneath earthquake debris. “It is essential that we move quickly and effectively,” said Jamie McGoldrick, UNDP’s Resident Representative in Nepal. “We need to ensure that no further lives are lost and the needs of the most vulnerable are prioritized.”
Thousands of people spent their first week under open skies fearing the aftershocks that continued to rumble across the country. Survivors left without homes are facing exposure to the elements, rising risk of water-borne diseases, lack of adequate medical support, and hunger. Monsoon rains have also arrived early, adding additional pressure for the government of Nepal and already strained emergency response capacities. The sheer scope of the devastation and scale of the earthquake debris and remoteness of some affected regions currently poses an access challenge for international communities who have life-saving medical and emergency supplies yet are unable to reach survivors in remote regions.
Nepal’s Government has declared a national emergency, and has appealed to the international community for assistance. On 29 April, the United Nations and partners launched a Flash Appeal for US$415 million to provide vital relief to people affected by the devastating earthquake in Nepal.
UNDP has been supporting the Government in gathering and assessing information about immediate needs, and a clearer picture of the damage is likely to emerge over the next weeks. UNDP Nepal staff based in Katmandu have been working alongside the UN Humanitarian Country Team in coordinating international relief efforts to support the Government.
UNDP will be providing support aimed at debris removal and other recovery interventions, and will help to bolster the capacity of local bodies in an effort to aid both search and rescue and early recovery.