GIEWS Country Brief: Nepal 27-April-2015

News and Press Release
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  • Severe earthquake causes widespread devastation negatively affecting food security in the affected regions

  • The 2015 wheat production forecast to decrease

  • Cereal imports in 2014/15 (July/June) marketing year anticipated at record level

Earthquake negatively impacts on food security in Central and Western regions

An earthquake of magnitude 7.8, the worst the country has experienced in 80 years, struck on 25 April central and western parts of Nepal, with the epicentre in Lampung District (north-west) of Kathmandu. Dozens of aftershocks followed, with magnitudes ranging between 4.5 and 6.7 on Richter scale. According to the latest official information, as of 27 April, at least 3 617 people have been confirmed dead, more than 6500 injured and hundreds are still missing. The numbers are expected to increase as more information becomes available. The earthquake caused severe damage to infrastructure and housing. The Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System (GDACS) estimates that 6.6 million people live within 100 km of the earthquake’s epicentre. Although no information on the overall displaced population is yet available, preliminary reports indicate that at least 1.6 million people were displaced in Kathmandu Valley alone, with the majority of them sleeping outside houses. Overall, the Government reports that 30 out of the country’s 75 districts were severely affected by the earthquake in the Western and Central Regions, including the largest cities of Kathmandu and Bokhara, the very densely populated districts of Sindulpalchowk, Kavre, Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Dolakha and Lamjung, as well as districts in the most vulnerable mountain and hilly areas.

The damage to the agriculture sector has not been assessed but affected households are likely to have lost their food stocks and agricultural inputs. The food security of these populations is also adversely impacted by market disruptions due to road destructions which are hampering access to food. Food and non-food assistance is immediately required.

The Government of Nepal has declared the state of emergency in the affected areas and officially requested international assistance.