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 over 22,000. The immediate impact on poverty, livelihood and output has been severe. According to official estimates for the most heavily-impacted districts (which includes Kathmandu), about 9.1 million people have been affected by the disaster.
The National Planning Commission (NPC) of the Government of Nepal, with support from numerous international partners, led a Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) to determine the impact of the earthquake. The PDNA was finalized 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 -- more than 755,000 houses in Nepal were found to be destroyed or significantly damaged -- accounting for US$3.27 billion or almost half of the 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 depend on the extent to which critical network infrastructure (e.g., energy, roads, etc.) are damaged 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 of approximately US$300 million, while the impact on health is estimated at US$60 million.