Due to its location and variable climatic conditions, Nepal is one of the most disaster-prone countries in the world, highly vulnerable to different types of natural hazards. Every year these events cause heavy loss of lives and properties. Climate change, environmental degradation and an increasing population further exacerbate the impacts of natural disasters. Additionally, thousands of refugees who first came from Bhutan in the 1990s are still hosted in Nepal. These refugees are not permitted to work in the country and rely on the assistance provided by United Nations agencies.
What are the needs?
Every year, more than 1 000 people in Nepal are killed by landslides and floods during the monsoon season. The potential threat of earthquakes, glacial lake outbursts, avalanches, and cold and heat waves is always looms large. According to the United Nations, Nepal is the 11th most vulnerable country to earthquakes, and Kathmandu the most at-risk city. Most recently, in mid-August 2017, large parts of Nepal were hit by what was considered the worst flooding in the last 15 years, leaving over 140 people killed and more than 1.7 million affected. Hundreds of thousands of homes were damaged or destroyed as a result of the floods. Back in April 2015, central Nepal was struck by the most devastating earthquake in decades, which claimed close to 9 000 lives and destroyed more than half a million homes.
Nepal also hosts almost 7 500 refugees from Bhutan, who live in camps. In the early 1990s, more than 108 000 refugees from Bhutan – approximately 20% of Bhutan's population – arrived in Nepal and started living in camps run by the United Nations’ refugee agency (UNHCR). Thanks to a third-country resettlement process, most of the refugees are now living in other countries. The refugees are not allowed to work in the country and are almost entirely dependent on international © EU/ECHO/Pierre Prakash European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations humanitarian assistance.