Children traumatised by Nepal quake need aid to rebuild lives: Unicef

Monday, Feb 12, 2024

KATHMANDU: About 68,000 children and their families who survived Nepal’s deadliest quake in eight years need further humanitarian aid to rebuild their lives, Unicef said on Sunday, 100 days after the tremors that devastated parts of west Nepal.

A 6.4 magnitude earthquake struck two districts of Jajarkot and Rukum West in the remote western region of the Himalayan country on Nov. 3, killing at least 154 people, more than half of them children.

The tremors, the deadliest in Nepal since two quakes killed about 9,000 people in 2015, flattened more than 26,000 houses and partially damaged another 35,000 buildings, rendering them unfit to live, according to official estimates.

Unicef said about 200,000 people, including 68,000 children, many of whom spent a cold winter in temporary shelters, still need humanitarian assistance to recover from the disaster.

The UN agency said it is appealing for $14.7 million funding to support these children.

“Thousands of children affected by the destructive earthquake ... are still dealing with the trauma of losing loved ones. Their development is at risk as they lost their belongings, homes and schools, among others,” Alice Akunga, Unicef representative to Nepal, said in a statement.

“Even as temperatures rise, the needs are still high as children require nutritious food, clean water, education and shelter. One of the best ways to rebuild children’s lives and restore a sense of normalcy is to get them back to school and learning, so that they can play with their friends, learn and heal,” Akunga said.

Anil Pokhrel, chief of Nepal’s National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Authority, said a proposal to provide financial support to affected families to rebuild their homes was ready for cabinet approval.