Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world, ranked 142 among 173 countries on the UNDP Human Development Index1. It is also a highly disaster-prone country and thousands of people are affected every year by floods and landslides, which hit the country on a recurring basis. In 2007, about 650,000 people were affected by these disasters. The Kathmandu valley in particular is at high risk from earthquakes. The situation is worsened by rapid urbanisation, related urban planning problems and poor infrastructure (including poor disaster management and public health services), which increase the vulnerability of people during disaster and non disaster times. The internal conflict, which started in the mid-nineties and ended officially through a peace agreement in November 2006, killed about 12,000 people and left thousands more displaced, creating new humanitarian needs in the country.