UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional and Nepal Country Offices Pledge Urgent Support for Earthquake-devastated Nepal

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Bangkok/Kathmandu, April 25, 2015 - The UNFPA Asia-Pacific Regional Office is working with our Nepal Country Office and colleagues across the United Nations Population Fund to assist the Government of Nepal and a range of partners in the aftermath of today’s devastating 7.9 magnitude earthquake which has claimed hundreds of lives, displaced thousands of people and caused massive structural damage in the capital Kathmandu and elsewhere.

“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the government and people of Nepal following this tragedy”, said Lubna Baqi, Officer-in-Charge, UNFPA APRO. “We pledge to offer our full support in whatever way we can, with a special focus on the health and wellbeing of pregnant women, lactating mothers and their newborns, young people and efforts toprevent gender-based violence in the context of this disaster.”

UNFPA APRO (which is based in Bangkok) and the Nepal Country Office have been involved in the humanitarian response to previous disasters in the Himalayan nation in recent years.

“We are well-poised to coordinate with government, other UN agencies and civil society partners in a variety of ways,” noted Giulia Vallese, UNFPA Country Representative in Nepal. “This includes bringing in and deploying our trademark Dignity Kits and emergency reproductive health kits that contain essential health products and supplies for pregnant women and new mothers, as well as young girls. These kits have helped save lives across the world, across a range of humanitarian disasters and crises.”

“In times of upheaval or natural disasters, pregnancy-related deaths and gender-based violence soar,” explained Priya Marwah, Humanitarian Response Coordinator, UNFPA APRO. “Many women lose access to essential reproductive health services and give birth in appalling conditions without access to safe delivery services and lifesaving care. We at the Regional Office and our Nepal Country office will be addressing these needs in the days, weeks and months ahead, supported by colleagues from across the world. Nepal, and all Member States, can count on UNFPA.”

For more information contact:

Roy Wadia / UNFPA APRO
Tel: +66 848 752 634 / +66 2 687 0111

Santosh Chhetri / UNFPA Nepal
Tel: +977 98010 56028 / +977 1 552 3880