UNDP Around the world

Supporting recovery after earthquake in Nepal

A woman in Katmandu, Nepal clears earthquake debris immediately after the April 2015 earthquakes in Nepal. Photo: UNDP Nepal

On 25 April 2015, a 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit Nepal and northern India. More than 15 powerful aftershocks rocked Nepal within 24-hours of the initial impact.  

The earthquake occurred during the height of tourist season which resulted in many people being trapped in very remote areas which remained inaccessible for search and rescue crews. An estimated eight million people living in about 40 % of Nepal were affected, and 800,000 structures damaged.

Nepal’s Government declared a national emergency, appealing to the international community for assistance.  

UNDP's response

UNDP’s initial response started with activities such as debris removal and management, emergency livelihoods and early recovery coordination.

UNDP played a significant role in the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment, helping the Government gather and assess information about immediate needs; and co-led the early recovery cluster under the leadership of the Government of Nepal.

UNDP also helped restore local governance systems including justice, police and legal aid to ensure affected communities had access to these services. Peace, gender equity and social cohesion issues cut across all UNDP’s assistance during Nepal’s recovery.

Our work then gradually shifted towards reconstruction, mainly supporting National Reconstruction Authority (NRA) with reconstruction policy development and implementation.

UNDP is also helping Nepal develop a long-term recovery framework that emphasizes resilience, such as scaling up renewable energy alternatives for some of Nepal’s most vulnerable people, building a culture of disaster risk awareness, and helping to ensure all reconstruction is done with a build back better approach.

Highlights of our work:

  • 295,000 m3 of debris was safely removed and 90% of the debris was reused in the reconstruction.
  • Over 4,500 people provided with emergency employment (including 40% women)
  • Over 5,000 damaged small businesses rebuilt
  • Over 50 solar power systems installed in temporary government offices and schools
  • 6,870 entrepreneurs received psychosocial counselling training
  • Over 1,400 engineers and masons were trained on earthquake safe construction
  • 4,450 households benefited from the rehabilitation of 40 community infrastructures damaged by the quake
  • 50,000 quake affected people visited mobile human rights clinics

Please join us to help the people of Nepal rebuild their lives. Click here to donate to our Nepal response.