COVID-19 Impact in Nepal
This week marks the third week of lockdown in Nepal due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nepal does not have adequate medical infrastructure, so they are relying on lockdown and quarantine as their main strategies to prevent the spread of the virus. The lockdown is expected to continue until at least the end of the month. This is having the greatest impact on day laborers all over the country who are already among the most vulnerable. With no way to earn money, no place to live, and no timely help from the government, laborers who were living in the capital city of Kathmandu have started walking back to their local villages. Hundreds of men, women and children are reported to be on the roads, some attempting to walk as far as 700 kilometers (around 400 miles) to reach the Far West regions. The combination of hot weather and lack of proper food and water is making this an increasingly dangerous crisis. The Nepal Supreme Court recently passed a law saying that local governments had to help these people with transportation, but these efforts thus far have been inconsistent and poorly executed.
The local churches are doing their best to support those around them, but they have limited resources themselves. The government has yet to instate relief programs around distributing food to those who need it. We would like to help our partners to serve their communities during this time. If you’re able to give, please visit our donate page here and give to our COVID-19 Emergency Relief fund. We are collecting funds to help on two levels:
1. Locally (Far West Region) – Our partners will distribute emergency supplies to those most in need in the local communities. This includes villages of former slaves, families identified from the schools we support and church families. These supplies will provide enough food and water to help one family for a week. Soap will also be included in these relief packages to help with the spread of the virus. There are hundreds of families in need of help.
2. Nationally – Our partners will work with churches across the country who are cooking food and handing it out to those traveling along the roads.
This need will continue to be the most acute during the next 2-3 weeks as the lockdown continues. Thank you for your generosity and your continued prayers for those who are affected by this pandemic, all over the world.