UNICEF Nepal Humanitarian Situation Report 6, 26 August 2017
· Rapid nutrition screening has been conducted in 16 districts, covering more than 7,000 children aged 6 to 59 months. Results showed a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of 23.7 per cent – which is well above the 15 per cent categorised as “Critical” (highest level of severity) by the WHO’s Guideline on the Management of Nutrition in Major Emergencies.
· In September, intensified immunisation (measles, tetanus), integrated with nutrition and hygiene promotion, is being planned for five days in 16 districts. The immunisation aims to reach over 620,000 children under 2 years of age, and pregnant and lactating women.
· Loss of civil documentation (e.g. birth registration, citizenship documents, and land certificates) of affected communities poses great challenges to access some entitlements and benefits.
· Over US$320,000 worth of contingency supplies for WASH, Health, Nutrition, Education and Child protection have been dispatched so far to affected areas.
· Additional funds are urgently required to provide hygiene kits; repair water tap stands; procure health commodities (ORS, essential medicines and mosquito nets); conduct intensified immunisation activities; procure therapeutic food for severely malnourished children; and procure essential school supplies for children including recreational kits and early childhood development kits.
SITUATION IN NUMBERS
1.7 million # of people in need (OCHA August 2017)
680,000 # of children in need of humanitarian assistance
UNICEF Appeal 2017* *A UNICEF-specific appeal for the response to the floods is under preparation. It will be aligned to the UNCT 6-month Joint Response Plan (JRP) released on 25 August.
Situation Overview and Humanitarian Needs
Nepal experienced a period of sustained heavy rainfall from the second week of August, resulting in large-scale adverse impacts on lives, livelihoods and infrastructure across 32 of 75 districts. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA), over 80 per cent of land in the Terai – along Nepal’s southern border with India and Nepal’s breadbasket – was inundated by flood waters following the heaviest recorded rainfall in the central and western regions in the last 60 years. A total of 143 people died, 43 were injured, and 30 are still missing due to rain-induced flood and landslides.
According to the data from the ‘Initial Rapid Assessment’ (IRA) conducted between 14 and 20 August in 28 districts, 1.7 million people have been affected, the majority of whom are concentrated in 10 districts in the Terai. Flooding has impacted already vulnerable and marginalised groups, including women and children who require targeted support. A total of 460,000 people from 91,400 families have been displaced, and nearly 65,000 houses have been completely destroyed. There are an estimated 19,000 persons currently residing in informal displacements sites including in 93 schools.
The Government of Nepal has mobilised 27,000 security personnel and civil servants to support relief efforts; provided more than US$11.3 million to affected areas for non-food items; and planning cash distribution of Nepal Rupees 70 (equivalent to US$ 0.68) per person per day to families whose houses are completely destroyed. However, the humanitarian needs to be met are quite substantial. MoHA has asked 18 flood-affected districts to carry out ClusterSpecific Detailed Assessments (CSDA) as well as to assess crop and livestock losses, and to submit reports within ten days. Meanwhile the Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development (MoFALD) has directed all District Disaster Relief Committees (DDRCs) to support the repair of damaged local roads in the flood-affected areas.
The nutritional situation of children from low-income households in Terai was already regarded as poor, and has worsened since the onset of flooding. A Rapid Nutrition Assessment conducted, covering more than 7,000 children aged 6 to 59 months in 16 districts in August revealed a Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate of 23.7 per cent (Severe Acute Malnutrition [SAM] of 6.3 per cent, and Moderate Acute Malnutrition [MAM] of 17.4 per cent). This is well above the 15 per cent categorised as “Critical” (highest level of severity) according to WHO’s Guideline on the Management of Nutrition in Major Emergencies and very serious. For comparison, the results of 2016 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) showed the prevalence of wasting among children under 5 years of age as 9.7 per cent for the country as a whole; 12.2 per cent for Terai; and 14.4 per cent and 11.8 per cent for Province 2 and Province 1 (provinces particularly affected by flood this time), respectively. It is clear that the incidence of GAM among the sample children is far higher than those pre-flood figures which were already high prior to the floods. In view of very high SAM fatality rates (typically ranging between 30 and 50 per cent if not treated in time), urgent actions are being taken to respond to the situation by using in-country stocks of related supplies. However, more resources are required to respond fully. This is particularly important as the flood washed away or spoiled already meager food stocks of low-income households, damaged or destroyed their houses, and ruined their crops and other means of livelihood.
According to the Education Cluster data, 416 schools have been destroyed and a further 1,043 have sustained varying degrees of damages in 14 districts, affecting the education of 291,000 children. In addition, 10 health posts have been destroyed and 64 have been partially damaged. About 64,000 hectares of standing crops have been destroyed in the 10 worst-affected districts and families have also lost important food stocks in most of the flooded areas, which could further compromise food security in the Terai.