UNESCO starts in-depth damage assessment in Nepal

22 May 2015

In response to two devastating earthquakes which affected Nepal on 25 April and 12 May 2015, UNESCO is mobilizing its expertise and international support to help the country to recover. Rapid initial assessments by UNESCO have identified urgent priority areas of action in education and to protect cultural heritage, and have enabled the UNESCO Kathmandu Office to start initial response activities.

Today, UNESCO is joining other partners starting a detailed Post-Disaster Needs Assessment to examine the full extent of the disaster and define a recovery strategy in areas of culture and education. The assessment will build on initial damage assessments, including those done by UNESCO Kathmandu Office.

The Post-Disaster Needs Assessment is jointly organized by the United Nations, the European Union, the World Bank, under the leadership of the Nepalese authorities. Its main objective is to assist the Government of Nepal in measuring the full extent of recent earthquakes’ impact on the country and, based on these findings, to define an adequate recovery strategy.

As lead agency for the cultural heritage chapter in the assessment, UNESCO will examine the disasters’ impact on the culture sector, identify required urgent safeguarding measures, and elaborate the strategy for longer-term recovery, including consideration for disaster risk reduction in the future.

As a member of the core group for education, UNESCO will assess the impact of the earthquakes on the education sector and on related emerging risks and vulnerabilities. In addition to the destruction of infrastructure and assets, UNESCO will assess the impact on access and the learning environment, teachers and other education personnel, as well as on education policy.

The assessment starts today and will last until mid-June. It will result in a final report which will provide an assessment of the damage, identify recovery and reconstruction needs, and suggest a longer-term recovery strategy that addresses these needs, reduces disaster risks and promotes resilience.