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UNICEF Humanitarian Action NEPAL in 2009
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Following 10 years of Maoist-inspired conflict, the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Accord on 21 November 2006 marked a new phase in Nepal’s social, political, and economic development. Despite a certain degree of political progress during 2007, there was an escalation of violence in the terai (Nepal’s southern plains, bordering India), as several groups and factions pushed for ethnic autonomy. Nevertheless, following much political negotiation, elections to the 601-seat Constituent Assembly were eventually held on 10 April 2008. The Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) gained the most seats but not
enough to form a government in their own right. The first meeting of Constituent Assembly was held on 28 May 2008, and resulted in the formal declaration of a republic. However, strikes (bandha ) and other disruptions organized by political groups are still affecting security and normal life in many places, especially in the central and eastern districts of the terai.
Despite the political progress, many critical matters remain unresolved. Child malnutrition rates are persistently high. Acute malnutrition (or wasting) – an indicator of sudden and severe nutritional deficit – affects some 12 per cent of children, especially in the Mid-Western and Far-Western Development Regions. Treatment for severely malnourished children remains largely unavailable, with only a few facility-based or food-based rehabilitation initiatives currently available. Diarrhoea and
acute respiratory infections (ARI) are the two leading causes of death among children under age five. Both conditions are exacerbated by generally poor sanitation and hygiene conditions and practices. In emergency contexts, women and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to sexual exploitation. In camps for the displaced, services such as antenatal care,safe delivery and voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) for HIV are difficult to access. There are also difficulties in providing uninterrupted antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV-positive women and children.
The conflict has shattered most child protection systems and much of the social structure. Despite efforts to recover and rebuild their lives, children are especially vulnerable to violence, abuse and exploitation. Obligations towards children contained in the peace agreement remain partially unfulfilled. Most critical has been the failure to formally discharge the 2,973 combatants who have been verified by UN monitors as underage. Both parties to the conflict have used explosive devices across the country.
UNICEF and its partners have established a strong community network to provide reintegration services to more than 5,000 children and youth associated with armed forces and armed groups. Community reintegration support programmes also target children affected by the conflict and other vulnerable children in the community, and promote peace and reconciliation activities. UNICEF’s activities cover all terai districts affected by ongoing insecurity.
UNICEF ,   (2009 )
Type / Script:
Progress Report in English
Thematic Group:
 UNICEF : Children Fund
14.05.04  -  Welfare And Social Services
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