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Nepal is vulnerable to a range of different hazards, including earthquakes, floods and landslides. This, coupled with the increasing impacts of climate change and the country’s geographical terrain, further exacerbated by the socio-economic vulnerability of the population, leads to different disasters. The impacts these disasters have on livelihoods and health are significant, especially on women and girls. Evidence shows that emergencies such as natural disasters and pandemics affect women and girls much more severely due to pre-existing inequalities. For example, during a crisis, women and girls are more at risk of experiencing gender-based violence (GBV), exploitation and abuse. With health systems also stretched in responding to the emergency at hand, women and girls are more impacted due to lack of access to essential health services, including sexual and reproductive health services which could lead to high-risk unintended pregnancies and maternal health complications. The trauma from disasters can also have lasting consequences on their mental health which could have a ripple effect on families and communities at large. 

In response to this, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) works with the Government of Nepal and several Non-Governmental partners, to ensure the needs of women and girls are addressed during and post-humanitarian crisis. 

 

DFAT Project

With support from the Government of Australia (DFAT), through prepositoned dignity and Inter-Agency Reproductive Health (IARH) kits, UNFPA ensures that women and girls’ sexual and reproductive health, hygeine and protection needs are not overlooked even in the midst of floods, landslides or any other crisis. UNFPA also works with women-led local organizations and the Red Cross to capacitate the relevant authorities on effective gender-sensitive  disaster preparedness - preparedness efforts that include women and address women’s issues. 

 

Anticipatory Action Project

The Anticipatory Action Project is another initiative aiming to provide collective anticipatory humanitarian action to people at risk of predicted severe monsoon flooding in Nepal. The pilot project is an initiative with five UN agencies – UNFPA, UNICEF, UN Women and WFP– in partnership with the local NGOs and in close collaboration with the Government authorities guided by a set of criteria and two-stage trigger mechanism to act before and immediately after the floods. UNFPA supported interventions are aimed at mitigating the impact of  disasters on women and girls in particular their reproductive health status including maternal deaths and morbidity, as well as to ensure prevention and response to GBV by deploying anticipatory action activities across selected districts in Karnali and Koshi River Basin in Nepal.