Right now, in Nepal, the COVID-19 curve is almost vertical with new cases and deaths are being announced every day. A severe lockdown means daily wage earners – around 70% of the working population– no longer have an income, families are starving, and basic health services are creaking. The government says it expects cases to rapidly increase, but many provinces are not prepared.
Many families and communities are experiencing extreme hardship, like Devi’s family, who by the time we reached them had not eaten for 16 days:
“My husband usually collects sand from the riverbed, but his work suddenly ended with the lock-down. We tried to ration our food, but it soon ran out. We’ve been collecting small fish and crabs from the river and looking for wild yams, but my family hasn’t had a proper meal for 16 days. I have a four-month-old baby, but my milk is not enough for him because there isn’t any food in my body. I have been so worried about him – and my three other children too.
Today we walked for four hours on a difficult road, but it was worth it. You have given us enough food for over a month and we feel like the luckiest people in the world. We will make this food last for a long time. Our children will be so happy. We want to express our gratitude because we now have enough to eat and can sleep well. Dherai Dherai Dhanyabad (Thank you so much).”
We have already raised £21,000 of emergency funds to Nepal, thanks to the generosity of our supporters. Yet we are receiving new requests every day, and still need to provide:
- 500 x food packages to feed one family for a month
- 10 sets of full PPEfor community health workers
- 50 x 1 litrebottles of hand sanitiser
- 5,000 x pairs of surgical gloves
- 5,000 x surgical masks
- 500 x hygiene kits
- 4 x water tanks for busy junctions in Makwanpur
Currently, we still have a shortfall of £9,000 that we still need to raise to support rural families and frontline workers.
Are you able to help us meet their needs right now?
Last week Rajkumar Malla, the Chairperson of Raksirang Municipality, sent us this email. Most people in his district are from the marginalised Chepang and Tamang communities. He said:
“The government lock-down has forced people to stay in their homes. But 71% of people in our community are daily wage earners with dependent children, so this has hit us hard. We are a small rural municipality and we do not have enough money to feed everyone. We are asking all our partners to see if they can help us with food parcels until the situation gets better. Thank you for considering our request.”
Are you able to donate to help vulnerable people in Nepal at this challenging time? We would be so grateful. The Nepalese people desperately need food, water tanks and protective clothing to help them to cope with this virus. We want to transfer more funds very soon.