***** This crisis profile is related to the 2015 Nepal Earthquake. Visit the Nepal Crisis Profile for information about the ongoing conflict. *****
On 25 April 2015, a massive 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck 77 kilometres (48 miles) northwest of Nepal's capital Kathmandu at 06:11 GMT, toppling office blocks and towers and killing hundreds of people. Strong aftershocks, including a 6.7 magnitude quake on 26 April, then continued to threaten the lives of thousands of people and to further damage buildings and infrastructure. On 12 May 2015, a new earthquake measuring 7.3 magnitude struck Nepal at 12:50 local time. The epicentre was southeast of Kodari (Sindhupalchowk District), 76 km northeast of Kathmandu, an area already affected by the 25 April earthquake.
The Flash Appeal for the Response to the Nepal Earthquake April - July 2015 was launched on 29 April, calling for US$415 million to reach over 8 million people with life-saving assistance and protection in the next three months. The appeal has since been revised, now seeking $423 million to further scale up the ongoing relief efforts.
According to UNOCHA Situation Report Number 11, as of 6 May, a total of 7,675 deaths and 16,392 injured have been reported. Government reports confirm that 30 out of 75 districts in the country have been affected in the Western and Central Regions, including Kathmandu Valley districts. This includes mountain and hilly areas, in areas where rural populations are dispersed, as well as some very densely populated districts and Nepal’s two largest cities, greater Kathmandu and Pokhara. According to initial estimates, 8 million people are believed to have been affected, of which over 2 million people are estimated to live in the 11 most critically hit districts of Dhading, Gorkha, Rasuwa, Sindhupalchowk, Kavre, Nuwakot, Dolakha, Kathmandu, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur and Ramechhap (Nepal Earthquake Flash Appeal, 29 Apr 2015). UNOCHA Situation Report Number 11, reports 284,455 houses to have been confirmed destroyed and another 234,102 damaged, causing immense displacement. While displacement estimates have not been verified initial estimates assume that 2.8 million people have been displaced (Nepal Earthquake Flash Appeal, 29 Apr 2015).
UNICEF estimates 1.7 million children to be in urgent need of humanitarian aid in the areas worst-hit by the earthquake. Children are particularly vulnerable within this crisis, as limited access to safe water and sanitation will put children at great risk from waterborne diseases, while some children may have become separated from their families (UNICEF, 29 Apr 2015).
The impact of the 12 May earthquake is still being assessed, however, there are initial reports of 24 people dead and another 543 injured as well as further damage to housing and infrastructure across the districts (UNOCHA, 12 May 2015).
According to the Office of the Resident Coordinator Situational report No. 5, there are an estimated 3,353 schools in the severely affected districts, 2,903 schools in the most affected districts, and an additional 9,762 in the partially affected districts. As of 6 May, the Department of Education has reported that 14,541 classrooms were destroyed and 9,182 were damaged (UNOCHA, 6 May 2015). In the severely-affected districts of Gorkha, Sindhupalchok and Nuwakot, UNICEF estimates that "more than 90 percent of schools have been destroyed, while around 80 percent of school buildings have collapsed in Dhading" and "in some areas, including Kathmandu and Bhaktapur, approximately nine in ten surviving school buildings have been used as emergency shelters (UNICEF, 7 May 2015)." With schools set to reopen 15 May, UNOCHA estimates that at least 950,000 children in Nepal will not be able to return to school unless urgent action is taken to assess schools in the affected districts and provide temporary learning spaces where schools are destroyed (UNOCHA, 11 May 2015).
Within a crisis, affected children need to access safe places to play, receive psychosocial support and lifesaving messages. Going to school allows children to regain a vital sense of routine as well as minimizes the disruption to children’s education and protects them from exploitation and abuse.
UNICEF states that there are also concerns that the "great strides made over the last 25 years in increasing primary school enrolment in Nepal – from 64 percent in 1990 to more than 95 percent today – could suffer a serious setback in the aftermath of the earthquake." They further state that Nepal's dropout rate was already a major concern with around 1.2 million Nepali children between the ages of five and 16 to have either never attended school or have dropped out and "UNICEF’s experience shows that children who are out of school for extended periods, including during emergencies, become less and less likely to ever return to the classroom (UNICEF, 7 May 2015)."
There is a desperate need to get children back to school as soon as possible, which will include working to set up child friendly spaces and temporary learning spaces, repairing buildings and encouraging parents to send their children back to school. The Flash Appeal for the Response to the Nepal Earthquake April calls for $20 million in order to reach 1.5 million school aged children. This number has since been revised to $21,444,633, with only 1.3% being funded, as of 12 May 2015 (FTS Nepal Earthquake, 12 May 2015).
The Education Cluster was activated in Nepal on April 26th in response to the first earthquake. According to the Flash Appeal for the Response to the Nepal Earthquake April, the Education Cluster will coordinate across sectors to provide early childhood development (ECD) and access to protective learning spaces, including psychosocial support and life-saving messages, for school-aged children (3- 18 years of age) in 21 districts. Learning material, including ECD kits, ‘school in the box’ and recreation kits will be provided and teachers will also be oriented on psychosocial support and life-saving messages. As of 11 May 2015, the Education and Protection clusters have established 45 Child Friendly Spaces (CFS) for displaced communities in the Kathmandu Valley, serving over 4,500 earthquake affected children. Art activities, games, sports, and psychosocial support and key life-saving messages relating to WASH, Nutrition, Health, and Child Protection are also currently being provided through these CFSs (UNOCHA, 6 May 2015). 1,100 teachers have been oriented on back-to-school messages, psychosocial first aid for children in nine districts and over 200 volunteer facilitators have been trained to support the CFSs.
On 7 May the ECU organised a global partner call with the Nepal Education Cluster staff on the Nepal education response, to provide an update on the situation and on support needs. The call also gave global members an opportunity to provide updates on their own agency's response and plans in Nepal. The minutes from this call are located here.
Tools and Resources
The following key INEE resource in English and Nepali can be used to support EiE efforts in Nepal.
The following additional resources can also be used to support EiE efforts in nepal.
Nepal, earthquake, education sector
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