Scope of the Disaster

On April 25, 2015, a 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal. Following a second strong earthquake on May 12 (7.3 magnitude), and a sequence of aftershocks, the Government of Nepal (GoN) reported the death toll at almost 9000 and those injured at close to 22,000. The earthquakes also triggered extensive landslides and avalanches causing further damage and disruption in essential services. According to the GoN, the earthquake sequence destroyed approximately 490,000 houses -- mostly traditional mud-brick and mud-stone houses built and occupied by the rural poor -- and rendered another 265,000 houses uninhabitable. The immediate impact on poverty, livelihood and output has been severe. According to official estimates, in the most heavily-impacted districts (which includes Kathmandu), about 9.1 million people have been affected by the disaster.

Upon request from the National Planning Commission (NPC) of the Government of Nepal, the World Bank, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), European Union (EU), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) supported a Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA). Numerous international partners were actively engaged in providing teams to help carry out the PDNA. This Assessment, led by Nepal’s NPC to determine the impact of the earthquake events, was completed on June 15, 2015 -- within one month of its launch -- with impressive, efficient and extensive collaboration among GoN agencies and international development partners.

The PDNA found that total damages and losses amounted to approximately US$7 billion, with Nepal’s reconstruction needs of US$6.7 billion, equal to about 30 percent of Nepal’s annual GDP. The largest single need identified in the PDNA was for housing and human settlements -- 755,000 houses in Nepal were found to be destroyed or significantly damaged -- accounting for US$3.27 billion or almost half of Nepal's total reconstruction needs. This is based on estimates of the areas affected and of the proportion of assets to be replaced or rebuilt.

The impact of the damage on productivity will depends on the extent to which critical network infrastructure (e.g., energy, roads, etc.) are impacted and the time needed for repairs. Total damages and losses for traditional infrastructure sectors such as water, energy and transport range between US$100 million and US$200 million.  After housing, the education sector suffered the highest damages and losses totaling approximately US$300 million, while the impact on health is estimated at US$60 million.