Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Nepal Earthquake: 5 things you need to know

It has been a shattering couple of days for children in Nepal and nearly 3 million children are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance after the earthquake. We take a look at five things you need to know about the disaster:

1. Worst in more than three quarters of a century

© UNICEF/NYHQ2015-1040/Nybo
The 7.8 magnitude earthquake on 25 April is the country’s worst in more than 80 years. More than 60 aftershocks have since been recorded, one as high as 6.7, adding to the devastation.

2. Nearly half are children

© UNICEF/NYHQ2015-1013/Nybo
Children below 18 years old account for 42 per cent of Nepal’s population of 27.8 million. At least 940,000 children living in areas severely affected by Saturday's earthquake in Nepal are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

3. Among the poorest in the world

© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-2007/Noorani
Nepal is among the poorest countries in the world; and currently ranks 157th out of 187 countries on the Human Development Index (World Bank). Some 620,000 children aged 5-17 are engaged in hazardous work. It is feared that the disaster will further worsen the situation for these children.

4.  A challenging terrain 

© UNICEF/NYHQ2012-1999/Noorani
At the best of times Nepal can be a difficult land to traverse due to its mountainous terrain. Kathmandu sits in a valley surrounded by the Himalayas. Rescue teams' efforts to reach those in need were hampered by landslides that blocked mountain trails.

5. UNICEF is on the ground

© UNICEF/NYHQ2015-1015/Nybo

UNICEF has a history of more than 40 years in Nepal, with an established emergency program. Working with Government and partners, we are ready to provide children with safe water and sanitation, child health and nutrition, as well as protection for vulnerable children.

UNICEF is rushing life-saving supplies to help children and their families. Please donate so we can help children who have lost everything. Without emergency support, more lives could be lost.