Nepal

UNICEF Nepal Humanitarian Situation Report No. 2, 1 January - 30 June 2022

Attachments

Situation in Numbers

  • 1.8 million people in need of humanitarian assistance (HAC)

  • 752,400 children in need (HAC)

  • 979,694 confirmed COVID-19 positive cases in Nepal (MoHP, as of 30 June)

  • 86,452 children under the age of 19 years tested positive for COVID-19

  • 87.1% of population fully vaccinated (MoHP)

Highlights

  • As of 30 June, the nationwide COVID-19 cumulative caseload since the start of pandemic, was 979,694 cases with 967,462 recoveries and 11,952 deaths. No COVID-19 related deaths were reported between 5 May and 30 June.

  • Over 46.5 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered by the Government of Nepal (GoN), as of 30 June, covering around 99 per cent of the target population (above 12 years of age) with the first dose and around 87 per cent with two doses.

  • In June, the government started the first phase of a COVID-19 immunization campaign for children aged 5-11 years, with the paediatric COVID-19 vaccines received from COVAX facility. Around 2.1 million children from 27 districts were targeted during the week-long campaign.

  • Over 2.2 million children aged 6-59 months received Vitamin A capsules in April, as part of the two-day National Vitamin A and deworming campaign organized biannually by the government.

  • Annual monsoon season started in June. The government’s Monsoon Preparedness and Response Plan-2022, projects that over two million people may be affected by monsoon-induced disasters this year. UNICEF continues to support the government with preparedness and response actions.

  • Around 249,600 people were engaged in risk communication and community engagement (RCCE) activities supported by UNICEF.

Funding Overview and Partnerships

Based on the UNICEF Nepal Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) Appeal for 2022, UNICEF requires US$27.3 million to meet the needs of children, women and families affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and to respond to the annual monsoon seasonal hazards including floods and landslides. To date, UNICEF has received US$618,159 funding against the 2022 HAC and has carried over US$4,093,323 from 2021. UNICEF Nepal expresses its sincere gratitude to all the donors for the generous contributions to date to help families and children in Nepal. However, UNICEF Nepal will require additional contributions to close the current funding gap of over US$22.5 million and will continue to partner with donors to ensure sufficient resources are mobilized to address the urgent needs of children and communities in Nepal. Without adequate funding, at least 752,000 children and their families and around 1.8 million people might not have access to the vital humanitarian support they need.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Nepal experienced the third wave of COVID-19 fueled by the Omicron variant, between January and February 2022, with an alarming rate of daily spikes in newly reported cases. The upward trend of cases was observed mostly from the first week until the third week of January. For example, daily cases increased exponentially from 342 on 1 January 2022 to 3,703 cases on 15 January 2022, with 21,584 active cases. This third wave surpassed the peak of the previous second wave, driven by the Delta variant. Given the surge in cases, the government closed schools across the country from 11 January 2022 to 29 January 2022 as per the recommendation of the GoN/COVID-19 Crisis Management Coordination Centre. This kept over eight million school children out of school. On 17 January, the government announced stricter restrictions which impacted people socio-economically. However, from late January onwards, the COVID-19 cases saw a downward trend and a significant decline in new cases.

As of 30 June, a cumulative total of 979,694 confirmed COVID-19 cases (including 86,452 children) were reported in Nepal, including 967,462 who recovered. The recovery rate was 98.8 per cent. Additionally, the reported nationwide COVID-19 related fatalities since the beginning of pandemic in Nepal reached 11,952 by the end of June, including 108 under the age of 19. There was a sharp decline in deaths recorded between March and June. From 5 May to 30 June, there were no new COVID-19 related fatalities reported.

On June 19, Nepal received over 2.2 million paediatric doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX facility, donated by the United States. The Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP) launched the first phase of the week-long Pfizer vaccination campaign for children aged between 5 and 11 years. The vaccination campaign began the 23 June targeting 2,153,274 children in 27 districts, with the follow up second dose scheduled for the end of July. The second phase of the campaign to cover the remaining 50 districts, is set to start in August. Meanwhile, the regular COVID-19 vaccination coverage for the targeted population (aged above 12 years) reached 99 per cent with the first dose and 87 per cent with the full dose by the end of June.

Meanwhile, in the mid-June 2022, an onset of cholera cases was reported in Kathmandu valley and as of 30 June, 17 cases were confirmed, with no fatalities. Cases were confirmed through stool culture, RDT (rapid diagnostic testing) and microscopy (hanging drop method). UNICEF, WHO and partners are on the ground providing support to the MoHP/Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) and local governments in response and to the immediate needs identified by the EDCD, to control outbreak.

On 5 June, this year’s annual monsoon season officially started. On 13 June, the ‘National Action Plan on Monsoon Preparedness and Response-2022’ of the Government of Nepal (GoN) was endorsed by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Executive Committee chaired by the Honourable Home Minister. Based on the Plan, the GoN has projected that over two million people may be affected by floods/landslides and other monsoon-induced disasters this year. While no large-scale monsoon-induced disasters have been recorded up to now (with the exception of some localized incidents in a few districts) this year’s monsoon is anticipated to bring above-normal rainfall which may lead to additional humanitarian needs to protect the lives of women and children over the next few months.