Where We Work - Nepal

Emergency Update: Deadly Earthquake Devastates Nepal

A powerful (7.5 - 7.9 magnitude, reports vary) earthquake has hit Nepal this morning, leaving at least 150 people confirmed dead. In India, there have been some casualties in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. This is a developing story; please check back for regular updates. Read the latest press release

Our History in Nepal 

Since 1976, Save the Children has worked to help children in Nepal. Our work in Nepal focuses its effort on education, especially early childhood development and primary education, as well as basic health, including maternal child health and HIV and AIDS prevention and care. In addition, Save the Children provided significant support to children and families who were affected by the country's ten-year-long civil war.

Our Results in Nepal

  • We kept 68,478 children safe from harm.
  • More than 782,720 children got the opportunity to learn.
  • In times of crisis, 82,094 children received emergency relief.
  • More than 384,878 children had a healthy start in life.
  • We reached 18,675 people to help fight the spread of AIDS, care for the sick and protect orphans left behind by the terrible disease.
  • To help parents feed their children, 35,960 received support to start businesses, improve farming practices and invest in their children’s futures.
  • To fight malnutrition, nearly 150,019 received nutritious food and vital supplements.

Explore Our Programs

Background and Challenges for Children

Nepal is home to 29 million people, with children younger than 15 years old making up more than 40% of the population. It includes ethnic and caste groups with distinct cultures and languages, giving this small land locked country a cultural and linguistic diversity that is remarkably complex. Nepal boasts eight of the world's 10 highest mountains, including Mount Everest, yet it also has the flat river plain of the Ganges on its southern border with India.

Entrenched poverty and a decade of violent political instability have taken a toll on the Nepalese people, although a lasting peace is gaining momentum, creating real hope for long-term political reconciliation. Much of the population lives in remote rural areas on the plains and others living in scattered settlements in the hills and mountains. More than one in three people in Nepal live in extreme poverty, subsisting on less than $1 per day.

Health and Nutrition

Save the Children envisions a country where families and communities are empowered to ensure access to quality health services. In response to the challenge of high child mortality rates, the substandard health status of Nepali women, and the growing prevalence of STDs, we work with local partners and the Ministry of Health on programs in child survival, AIDS prevention education, school health and more.

The Child Survival program aims to reduce preventable child deaths in Nepal through programs that include training community level staff and volunteers, educating parents, and ensuring the availability of key health supplies. With the support of the Gates Foundation, Save the Children is leading an initiative to combat the 75,000 neo-natal and post-natal deaths in Nepal each year. The initiative aim to strengthen and expand proven cost-effective services; adapt and refine model programs; advance the technology related to newborn care; mobilize commitment and resources; and establish strategic partnerships with universities, NGOs, and ministries.

The School Health program's goal is the improved health and nutritional status of school aged children leading to improved school performance. Key components of the program include health camps, deworming and micronutrient supplementation, effective maintenance and use of hand pumps and sanitary latrines at schools, and the establishment of school health management committees.

Save the Children has also been working to prevent and lessen the impact of HIV/AIDS in Nepal through increasing the availability of condoms, enhancing access to services and information, and creating an environment for behavioral change. Special emphasis is placed on reaching commercial sex workers and their clients along the highways in the Far West, as well as male migrants to India and their families. The program has particular success in reducing stigma and discrimination and involving local government and community bodies to create ownership of community-based impact mitigation activities.

Hunger and Livelihoods

The goal of these programs are to expand economic access and opportunity for poor and marginalized women and girls aged 14-18. Income earning prospects are improved through continuous and increased access to micro-finance services and through the promotion of highly productive, non-labor intensive income-generating activities. Save the Children's programs support the formation and development of women's groups, community-based organizations, and self-help groups with leadership training, management skills, and limited seed money to expand access to credit.

Education and Early Childhood Development

Quality education is not available to most of children in Nepal. Our programs promote educational opportunities for children to learn, develop and participate in their communities. Programs such as Child Clubs, out-of-school classes, and Child-to-Child learning characterize our innovative approach to youth and non-formal education.

Early Childhood Development

Save the Children's ECD program is to enable children to grow up with effective support for their overall development and to be better prepared to make the most of learning opportunities. Our centers offer a safe and nurturing environment for children 3 to 5 years old and provide critical opportunities for physical, cognitive, social, emotional, and language development.

Primary Education

Special emphasis is placed on the increasing access to education for girls and disadvantaged children, enhancing the quality of learning environments through teacher training and the provision of low cost teaching/learning materials, and improving the support system for primary education. Over 5,000 Dalit children have received scholarships through the Nepal Children's Scholarship Endowment Program (NCSEP), a joint program with the Nepal National Dalit Social Welfare Organization.

Adolescent Development

The goals of the Adolescent Development program are to improve learning opportunities for adolescents, enabling them to become healthy and productive members of families, communities, and society and to increase the acceptance of children's organizations as valuable child rights institutions. Save the Children aims to increase the quality and accessibility of youth programs by supporting Child Clubs, expanding advocacy efforts, and developing a life skills workshop with teachers and schools. A six-month advanced literacy course has been added to follow-up the government's basic six-month course. Along with literacy and numeracy, the advanced course also teaches health, agriculture, income generation, and family planning.

Sponsor a Child in Nepal

Sponsorship is a special kind of giving that creates a relationship between you and the community in which Save the Children is helping to create real and lasting change. It provides more than the satisfaction that comes with aid for improving the health and well-being of children; it delivers a special opportunity to witness young lives lifted over time. Through child sponsorship, two lives are changed forever: yours and the life of your sponsored child.

Nepal Facts and Statistics

  • Population: 30,986,975
  • Infant Death Rate: 41.6 in 1,000 live births
  • Life Expectancy: 67.2 years
  • Poverty Rate: 24%
  • Underweight Children: 29.1%
  • Human Development Rank: 145 out of 187 countries
  • Maternal Death Risk: 1 in 190 women
  • Girls' Education: 12.4 years
  • Income per capita: 700 (USD)


Unless otherwise noted, facts and statistics have been sourced from Save the Children’s 2014 State of the World’s Mothers report.You can access detailed data here.

Other sources as follows: Population and Life Expectancy: CIA World Factbook 2014; Human Development Rank: United Nations Development Programme 2014; Underweight Children: World Health Organization Report 2014

Last Updated April 2015

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