An estimated 1.7 million children have been "severely affected" by the earthquake in Nepal on April 25 and are now in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The 7.8-magnitude quake caused vast devastation across much of the country, including at least 7,000 deaths, 14,000 injuries, and the widespread destruction of buildings.
The Nepalese government has declared a month-long state of emergency in the country's 12 most severely affected areas, including Sindhulpalchowk, Kavrepalanchok, Gorkha, Rasuwa, and Dhading in the Western and Central Region.
Rose Foley, a UNICEF spokesperson in Kathmandu, told VICE News: "The most pressing needs are shelter for children and their families who are struggling to protect themselves from the sun and rain, as well as access to clean, safe water. Children and their parents prepare makeshift shelters in the open, wherever they can — by roads, in public squares, on a spare bit of land on farms."
Foley expressed concern about the the high risk of disease in the makeshift camps. She also spoke of the long-term effect of the natural disaster on children's emotional wellbeing. Foley recalled that one 10-year-old boy, made homeless by the destruction of his home, had told her that he would be too afraid to return back home after the earthquake — even if he had a choice.