Nepal is one of the poorest countries in Asia and the 48th poorest country in the world
Before the global increase in food and fuel prices, Nepal was already in a precarious situation - out of every 100 Nepali children: - o 31 were living under the poverty line, o 40 belonged to extremely poor families; o 41 didn't get enough to eat, and o 47 were malnourished and underweight because of the chronic lack of food
Currently, 2.5 million people in rural Nepal need emergency food aid
A further 3.9 million people will also need help if food prices increase again
Rural and poor Nepalis spend up to 73 per cent of their income on buying food
The number currently below the poverty line will more than likely rise to half the population as family incomes continue to be undercut by increased food prices (note, the total population of Nepal is 25 million people)
As a result of poverty, broken families, abandonment and the civil war, each year thousands of Nepalese children find themselves at risk of: o living in the street (currently 5,000 children), o working as child labour (at least 40,000 children are bonded labourers), o being trafficked to India work in circuses or brothels (annually more than 12,000 women and children are trafficked to India), o being placed in an institution – (more than 8,000 children have been orphaned and more than 40,000 children were displaced during the armed conflict).
There are more than 523 child residential centres in Nepal – two thirds of which have been assessed by the Nepal Government as being substandard.
By the government's own admission, even some government-run child residential centres are under risk conditions.
More than 1,500 children need immediate rehabilitation from institutions such as these.
Institutions in general are harmful to children and a wholly inadequate system of caring for children. In Nepal, children in institutions are abused, exploited and malnourished.
The majority of children living in institutions in Nepal don't need to be there - they have family or relatives with whom they could live if given appropriate support.