In Nepal, Christian Aid is supporting some of the poorest and most vulnerable communities to help reduce health risks and the economic burden during this pandemic.
Christian Aid has worked in Nepal since 2004 to reach out to the most vulnerable and marginalised people.
Our team in Nepal has adapted their existing projects in response to coronavirus to meet the emergency needs of the most vulnerable communities. The focus is to minimise health impacts, mitigate poverty and social impacts, and address life-saving needs.
Photo: Chandrakala Darji washes her hands in the community hand-washing station set up by Christian Aid and our partner Baal Sewa Samaj.
The impact of coronavirus
Since Nepal went into lockdown on 24 March 2020, there has been significant concern for poor communities, especially daily wage labourers and temporary workers. The economic revival for the country will be a major challenge. The World Food Programme has warned that 4.6 million people in Nepal will struggle without enough food, and 10% will face severe hunger.
The health sector is expected to be hit hard due to limited facilities and a lack of medical supplies. People living in remote areas are more vulnerable due to the lack of access to health services. There have also sadly been increased reports of suicide, domestic violence and rape during this period of lockdown.
Our immediate response
Our local partners are responding in six districts in Bardia, Dading, Dolakha, Kailali, Khotang and Rasuwa to ensure that no one is left behind.
We are working alongside the local government to push for preventive measures on coronavirus to reduce the health risks to the most marginalised communities, ensuring protection for women and other vulnerable groups. We are helping people to continue to earn a living and increase their awareness on precautions relating to coronavirus.
Through our local partners, we are providing emergency food assistance to the most vulnerable families. This includes the elderly, people with disabilities, pregnant and lactating women, people without income and other marginalised families.
We are providing water, sanitation and hygiene support with hand-washing stations in community health centres, and delivering sanitary products for women and hygiene kits.
People in quarantine are being supported with essential items such as blankets, mosquito nets, hygiene kits and soap.
We are supporting health centres with basic personal protective and disinfectant equipment.
We are also supporting awareness raising on coronavirus, using pamphlets and radio programmes. These messages cover issues such as domestic violence, inclusion and proper care of marginalised people, and tackling common myths and misconceptions about the virus.