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Humanitarian Situation















  • Since April 2021, Nepal has been experiencing an alarming COVID-19 surge, with a steep rise in cases from 162 cases/day at the beginning of April up to 9,300 cases/day (319 cases per 1,000,000 people) in May; case positivity rate as high as 47 per cent; and 4,000 deaths. On a similar COVID-19 trajectory as India, Nepal’s previously weak health system has been overwhelmed, there is insufficient oxygen treatment capacity and hospitals and care staff are stretched to the limit.

  • Thousands of returning migrants are entering Nepal from neighbouring India through multiple border entry points along the porous border. UNICEF, the main humanitarian body in the region, is supporting border authorities at points of entry (PoE) in intensive efforts to ensure rapid testing, isolation or quarantine and to organize on-ward movement to various parts of the country, through provision of essential supplies and transportation of confirmed COVID-19 returnees to isolation centres and hospitals.

  • UNICEF provided critical health equipment including 750 oxygen concentrators, 1,100 pulse oximeters, 20 BiPap machines, 11,259 home isolation kits, 2 million surgical gloves, 2,000 body bags, and other supplies. Gaps remain for personal protective equipment (PPE), lab/test supplies, oxygen and infection, prevention, control (IPC) supplies.

  • Nepal’s COVID-19 vaccination campaign which started in January 2021 had made good initial progress, with 2.1 million people, nearly 7% of the eligible population, vaccinated with at least the 1st dose of COVID-19 vaccine. COVAX/UNICEF delivered 348,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine, 3 million syringes, 5,000 safety boxes and supported overall communication efforts to raise demand and awareness. Due to global vaccine scarcity and the related halting of the expected additional vaccine deliveries, vaccination efforts have been constrained and Nepal is in urgent need of additional vaccine doses to complete vaccination of high-risk groups and beyond, especially during the current surge.

  • The most vulnerable groups including children, their families, migrant returnees and child- and female-headed households bear the brunt of the COVID-19 impact highlighting the critical need for humanitarian response and crisis recovery efforts at all levels. UNICEF supports the continuation of essential services such as health, WASH, nutrition, protection, education and family livelihoods.

  • As per the COVID-19 emergency response plan, UNICEF Nepal urgently needs an additional US$ 21,297,325 to ensure a response for families and children in Nepal during the current crisis. If this funding is not secured UNICEF’s ability to provide lifesaving assistance will be severely limited.


The Challenge

To ensure all children receive pre-primary and basic education and to improve quality basic education and adolescent life skills development.

Education is a fundamental human right.


EDU and organizations like EDU are dedicated to making sure that all children can enjoy their right to a quality education, from early learning opportunities that lay the groundwork for success in school, all the way through secondary school.

Over the last 20 years, Nepal has made significant progress in education. The net enrolment rate in primary schools has risen to 97 per cent. However, the country still has many challenges to tackle. Issues that persist in education include poor quality and inequity in access, geographical remoteness, gender, and socioeconomic and ethnic differences. Key barriers to enrolment and attendance include poverty, social exclusion, disability, migration, child labour, social norms and gender bias.

  • 770,000 children aged 5-12 years are still out of school.

  • Only a half of students in grades 3, 5 and 8 meet the academic achievement criteria for Nepali and mathematics.

  • Attendance in early childhood education (ECE) is still low at 51 per cent.

  • There is inequity in the education sector as only 12 per cent of children from the lowest wealth quintile are developmentally on track in literacy and numeracy compared to 65 per cent from the highest wealth quintile.

  • Very few schools meet child-friendly school standards. 

  • Only 11 per cent of school buildings are earthquake-resistant. 


EDU will continue to support local partners in Nepal such as AIDIA

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