Corona pandemic forces Nepal to its knees. The country needs help now
Nepal is the new India. The UN calls for urgent action. The corona pandemic must be curbed now. Mission East is on the spot; only the economy sets limits.
The news of the escalating Corona pandemic in India reached the news media three weeks ago. Today, a disaster in neighboring Nepal is on the way.
44 percent of Nepalese people tested have been infected with Corona - almost 8,000 new cases of Corona infection are registered per day. Compared to the country's population of 29.5 million, the infection rate is at about the same level as India's.
Hospitals in Kathmandu and other cities are overcrowded and have to reject patients due to lack of beds. Lack of oxygen supply is reported everywhere. The UN calls for swift action now:
- There is a desperate need to stand together to save human lives and prevent unnecessary suffering now and tomorrow and in the coming weeks. There is no time to waste, says UN Resident Coordinator Sara Beysolov Nyati.
Strengthening local health centers
Mission East has offices in the country and has worked with emergency relief and disaster prevention in Nepal since 2007. It has well trained and highly experienced staff on the ground and long established working relations with local partners and government authorities. The whole of 2020 has been about Corona prevention. And now the fight against Corona is intensifying:
- We will strengthen local health centers to cope with the pandemic and provide support to local people in the form of information about Corona, hygiene items and life-saving protective equipment, and food aid to the most vulnerable, say Mission East's program coordinator for Nepal, Joohi Haleem, and Ujjwal Amatya, Mission East’s Country Director in Nepal.
- We will also expand our efforts to provide clean water and proper sanitation in the villages where we work.
Need for increased support
Mission East’s planned response is expected to target more than 11,500 households or more than 70,000 people and 50 local health centres - targeting particularly the marginalized and most vulnerable, for example due to disability og caste.. But only some of the money has come in, Haleem says, urging further donations.
Due to the violent spread of infection, the Nepalese authorities have lockown the community in all the districts of the country. The shutdown is leading to unemployment and a rising food crisis in a population already hard hit by poverty.
Nepal is on its knees - help now!
Together with Corona Prevention, Mission East will provide food aid to returned migrant workers from India, day laborers, the poor and other vulnerable populations who are having particular difficulty during the closure.
Nepal is on its knees. They cry out to heaven for help. Mission East is on the way to help them. And the appeal can not be expressed more clearly:
- Any help is very, very welcome, says Joohi Haleem from Mission East.