Nepal Update: From Relief to Recovery

Updated June 24, 2015

Children and Education

Children's education in Nepal
Children participate in a drawing activity at an SOS childcare space in Bhaktapur, Nepal (Photo credit: Zishaan Akbar Latif)

About 870,000 children have been unable to return to their classrooms since classes reopened May 31, according to a recent estimate by the United Nations (UN). In total, the earthquakes have destroyed more than 25,000 classrooms, and another 10,000 classrooms have been damaged. In addition to the impact on facilities and buildings, children and their teachers require psychosocial support for trauma.

How SOS Children’s Villages (SOS) is helping:

  • At our 14 childcare spaces currently in operation, we are providing more than 800 kids with informal educational activities, meals, and medical and psychological care. In total, we have reached nearly 2,000 children across the 25 childcare spaces that we opened since the first earthquake struck April 25.
  • At our SOS villages in Nepal, we are caring for 32 children who have been orphaned or separated from their families because of the earthquake. If we determine that the children have no one able to care for them, they will be welcomed as part of an SOS family at one of our 10 SOS villages in Nepal. 
  • We are working with the Nepalese government to rebuild four public schools that were completely destroyed during the earthquake.

Destroyed Homes

Child amongst the rubble
A 10-year-old girl stands next to the remains of her destroyed house in Harisiddhi, Nepal (Photo credit: Zishaan Akbar Latif)

As of May 21, a total of 494,717 houses have been reported destroyed and 267,373 houses damaged, according to the Nepalese Ministry of Home Affairs.

With the slow response of the government towards reconstruction and rehabilitation, desperate earthquake victims have built their own temporary shelters in anticipation of the monsoon season. The UN has called for $349 million for managing three months of temporary settlement, but less than 15 percent of the amount has been received. If the current situation remains unchanged, the onset of the monsoon season will bring more hardship for the earthquake victims.

How SOS is helping:

  • We are in the process of finalizing a needs assessment to determine where to rebuild 300 homes that have been destroyed by the earthquakes.
  • We will provide portable, temporary homes to 1,500 families whose homes have been destroyed by the earthquake.

Increased Poverty and Unemployment

Poverty in Nepal
People wait at a school in Kathmandu, Nepal, after the earthquake struck on April 25. (Photo credit: Reuters)

Even before the earthquake, Nepal was one of the poorest countries in the world. About 1 in every 4 people lives below the national poverty line, with about 24 percent of Nepalese citizens earning less than $1.25 per day (World Bank). The UN’s International Labour Organization estimates that one-third of the Nepalese labor force has been impacted by the earthquakes. In addition, the prices of essential commodities have skyrocketed due to hoarding and black marketing by traders. Although the government has issued a letter asking citizens to maintain the local market price, price gauging continues.

How SOS is helping:

  • For more than two decades, we have been supporting vulnerable families at SOS “social centers” in Nepal, where we provide healthcare, daycare, training workshops and other services.
  • In an addition to the nine social centers that were already in place before the earthquake, we will open 3-4 more centers in areas most affected by the earthquake. There, we will support 1,000 affected families by providing them with daycare, education for children, and income-generating activities for adults. Special attention will be given to women-headed families and to internally-displaced families.