The Maoist insurgency has affected Nepal since 1996. It is now estimated that up to 80% of the country is controlled by the Maoists. The root causes of the conflict are extreme poverty, feudalism, social discrimination, economic and political corruption, and virtual absence of social services in rural areas.
Children and women are among the worst affected. Human rights violations, disappearances, and forced abductions have become common practises by both parties to the conflict. A growing number of under-age children are serving as child soldiers, mostly as informants, helpers and increasingly also in armed roles.
Planned Humanitarian Action for 2005
While working closely with UN agencies, UNICEF's strategy is to maintain access and presence in rural areas, strengthen community capacities, monitor and advocate for child rights and train staff on humanitarian principles. Some 4.1 million children and women will benefit from UNICEF's assistance.
Health and Nutrition: In addition to nation wide immunization and vitamin A campaigns, UNICEF will provide health kits, medical, nutrition and cold chain equipment in conflict affected districts. Public health training for health workers and volunteers will also be conducted.
Education: UNICEF will use education as a major entry point for realising children's rights in affected districts. UNICEF will promote "welcome to school" package, and mobilise communities for "schools as zones of peace". Teacher training and out of school courses will also be conducted.
Water and Sanitation: UNICEF will test and treat drinking water contaminated by arsenic, provide safe drinking water and child friendly sanitation, and promote hygiene and sanitation in conflict affected areas.
Child Protection: UNICEF will support "children as zones of peace" initiatives, establish and train community workers, volunteers and teachers on child protection activities and psychosocial support. Monitoring and advocacy for preventing recruitment and demobilization of child soldiers will also be implemented.
HIV/AIDS: UNICEF will deliver post exposure prophylaxis kits and raise awareness on HIV/AIDS among the youth and community workers and volunteers.
Mine Action: UNICEF will assess mine action needs, develop mine risk education programme and produce training and information kits for use by schools, out of school programmes and community organizations.
Natural Disaster Preparedness & Inter-Agency Coordination: UNICEF will pre-position essential items in relation to earthquakes. UNICEF will also hire additional staff to coordinate emergency activities.
Summary of UNICEF Financial Needs for 2005
|Water and environmental sanitation||
|Mines and IEDs||
|Earthquake and other natural disaster preparedness||
|NGO and inter-agency coordination, management and logistics||
1 The total includes a maximum recovery rate of 12%. The actual recovery rate on individual contributions will be calculated in accordance with the Executive Board Decision 2003/9 of 5 June 2003.