Itahari is a city in eastern Nepal, in Province No. 1. Around 200,000 people live in the city, which is growing rapidly due to its good connection location at a highway junction.
However, poverty is still widespread: 15% of the ppuluation in the province lives in poverty. This leads to food insecurity among many families.
In addtion, girls are often at risk of early marirage.
Since 1991, SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Itahari.
Nepal has the 16th highest rate of child marriages in the world. This means that 40% of women in Nepal were married before the age of 18.
Child marriage is a violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the emotional damage a child suffers from a forced union is profound. There is also an increased risk of child pregnancy and domestic violence.
In Province No. 1 specifically, where Itahari is located, 28% of girls were married as a child. The national target to end child marriage by 2030 will require a major push from the government.
Food insecurity is still recurrent in Nepal, and many people suffer from acute hunger.
Parents in Province No. 1 struggle to provide enough nutritious food for their children. And thus, 19% of children are underweight.
To be more specific, 24% of children in Province No. 1 experience stunting (low height for age), a result from malnutrition. Furthermore, 14% of children experience wasting (low weight for height), which occurs when a child has not had food of adequate quality and quantity.