Unicef aid for 450k children

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Jul 24, 2015-

Unicef has stepped in to help around 450,000 poverty-stricken children who are at risk of slipping further into poverty after the April earthquake.

The organisation said will provide the government with financial and technical support for emergency cash transfer amounting to $ 15 million through the government’s existing social assistance programmes to assist the children in 19 quake-hit districts.

”The earthquake has exposed the fragility of Nepal’s progress in terms of poverty reduction. One of the priorities for Unicef is to assist the government to phase in a reliable and predictable form of income support for children and their families by strengthening and expanding the country’s social protection system and improving its responsiveness to shocks,” said Tomoo Hozumi, Unicef Representative in Nepal.

The cash transfer will be provided in the form of a top-up of Rs 3,000 to the regular payments received by over 400,000 vulnerable individuals, including Dalit children, people with disabilities, widows, the elderly and endangered ethnic groups, a Unicef statement said, adding that the first payments started on July 9 in Sindulpalchok and are on-going in a phased approach across the affected districts.

The earthquake destroyed assets, sources of livelihoods and substantially reduces household income of the most vulnerable population which, according to Unicef, can have irreversible long-term negative impact on the development of children from poor families. The Post Disaster Needs Assessment estimated that 700,000 to 1 million people in the districts could be pushed below the international poverty line due to loss of houses, income-generating opportunities and productive as well as durable assets.

Unicef said it has disbursed $ 5.3 million worth of supplies, including tents, hygiene kits, therapeutic foods, vaccinations and other life-saving medicines, bed nets, newborn packages and early childhood development kits, among others, after the earthquake.

The UN agency has also helped build 1,060 temporary learning centres, supported the conduction of Child Nutrition Week Campaign in 14 districts, facilitated training on psychosocial support for over 2,000 teachers, provided diarrheal kits, restored more birthing centres in more than 150 health facilities.

“Together with the government and partners, we have been able to achieve a lot in the past 90 days. At the same time, given the enormity of the damages and losses, and the possible impact of the monsoons, there is a lot more to be done to bring a sense of normalcy to the lives of the earthquake survivors especially the most vulnerable amongst them,” Hozumi said.

Unicef has also helped in interception of 513 children and women from being trafficked or being illegally transported and provided 28,387 children access to Child Friendly Spaces in camps.

Published: 25-07-2015 08:14

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