Nepal Earthquake Response - EDU Secretary-General Commissions Impact Study
His Excellency Irving Le-Vance, Secretary-General of the Intergovernmental Organization EDU has commissioned an Impact Study on the long term effects of the recent earthquakes in Nepal on Education. EDU considers the continuation of Education in Crisis and Post-Crisis scenarios to be an important but often neglected aspect of post disaster planning.
The earthquake on April 25, known as the April 2015 Nepal Earthquake or the Ghorka Earthquake measured 7.8 on the Moment Magnitude Scale and was the was the worst natural disaster to strike Nepal since the 1934 Nepal–Bihar Earthquake. Hundreds of thousands of people were made homeless with entire villages flattened, across many districts of the country. Centuries-old buildings were destroyed at UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Kathmandu Valley, including some at the Kathmandu Durbar Square, the Patan Durbar Squar, the Bhaktapur Durbar Square, the Changu Narayan Temple and the Swayambhunath Stupa.
Nepal is considered by experts to be especially vulnerable to earthquakes because of its geology, urbanization, and architecture.
Aftershocks continued to rock the already devastated country for weeks after the event with a major aftershock on 12 may 2015. The earthquake and the secondary effects such as avalanches and landslides killed over 8,000 people and injured at least twice as many.
Natural disasters such as earthquakes in developing nations like Nepal often have far reaching and long lasting effects that persist for years or even decades after the initial event. Authorities have their hands full with priorities that include treating of initial injuries, safe burial of victims, prevention of the outbreak of disease, distribution of aid supplies, restoration of damaged infrastructures, lawlessness and criminality, economic disruption and aggravating phenomenon such as the onset of winter or inclement weather such as monsoons.
With so many pressing matters to deal with, it is easy for planners to forget that failure to put in place mechanisms for the continuation of education can result in a lost generation of children who lose access to educational services at a vital time in their life development. As time progresses it is harder for these children to make up the education they have lost and they can be trapped into an uneducated adulthood with all the disadvantages that this entails.
The Secretary-General of EDU noted that of over $700M that has been generously donated to Nepal by nations following the earthquake, NGO's and private individuals. Sadly, to date, not a single cent has been earmarked for Continuation of Education.
The purpose of the Impact Study is to ascertain why and to raise awareness of this often neglected aspect of post disaster planning.
The Intergovernmental Organization EDU counts amongst its accredited institutions the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA), which is an independent, non-partisan, foreign policy think-tank, based in the highly geo-strategic Himalayan region. Headquartered in Kathmandu, Nepal, AIDIA aims to lead a new era in foreign policy and international relations and reflects the unstoppable rise of the Asian continent as the key stakeholder in the economic, strategic and geo-political equations of the present day world.
AIDIA provides a platform for Policy Makers, Academicians and Industry leaders from around the world to come together to debate, discuss and share their views on the contemporary geopolitical and geo-economic issues confronting the international community. AIDIA seeks to do this by facilitating effective engagement through the various AIDIA forums in order to inform, educate and initiate the involvement of Nepal's youth in foreign policy debates and decision making.
AIDIA is actively engaged in providing policy analysis, facilitating diplomatic dialogue, and promoting entrepreneurial engagement among all major actors and institutions native to or that have an interest in Asia.