Donate

Home / About us / Our Blog / The Impact of Lockdown in Nepal
24 Jun 20

The Impact of Lockdown in Nepal

As lockdown measures ease in the UK, the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Nepal continues to rise. As of June 30th, according to the Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP), there are over 13,000 cases of coronavirus infections active in 76 districts. In the remote areas in which PHASE works, there have been more positive tests in Bajura, Mugu, Humla, Gorkha and Sindhulpalchowk.

The reporting of new cases across the country and particularly in the regions we support, are of increasing concern to PHASE Worldwide as coronavirus significantly impacts the most vulnerable. To assess the impact of coronavirus, and the subsequent lockdown, earlier this month PHASE Nepal conducted a Covid-19 Rapid Assessment in Mugu. The assessment covered areas of access to market, livelihoods, food security, and health.

The assessment highlighted that coronavirus has already had a significant impact, with national lockdown which has been in place since March, disrupting food security, livelihoods, and nutrition. The added influx of migrants returning home (6.3% increase in male population) has added further pressure.

According to the World Food Programme, during the lockdown across Nepal, 30% of households have lost monthly income. However, our survey shows that 100% of households had lost monthly income, with a mean household decrease of 58% (72% for households with a person with disabilities). To put this into context, this a monthly average income reduction from £203 (pre-pandemic) to £83 (during lockdown).The global poverty threshold is currently a daily household income of $1.90/day. It is testament to PHASE’s quality integrated projects focused on rural livelihoods that even the most vulnerable households earn above this threshold in normal times. However, during the pandemic, significant reductions of income are not sustainable.

There are no social welfare nets in Nepal. Compared to the UK, there are no welfare benefits or furlough schemes, and nowhere to turn to as this crisis grows. The most vulnerable: the elderly, lactating women, pregnant women, female-headed households, and people with disabilities face cross cutting challenges in their daily lives in these remote regions and these challenges are only amplifying with the lockdown restrictions in place since late March. When food stocks are depleted and markets are inaccessible and unaffordable, communities become even more vulnerable.

Over 45% of respondents stated they do not understand what COVID-19 is, over 30% are extremely or very afraid of getting infected or dying from COVID-19, and 23% told PHASE Nepal they do not feel confident in knowing how to protect themselves.

For the people PHASE supports and for Nepal to combat the spread of Coronavirus, knowledge, attitude, and practice needs to improve. We are aiming to achieve this goal by using radio and posters to spread informative messages in these remote areas, but we know from experience that to reach the most marginalised, those who don’t own a radio and can’t read, traditional methods of communication  are needed such as ‘Katuwal Messaging’. This involves a messenger with a drum shouting key information in public spaces. This knowledge, experience and local expertise is just one example of how PHASE Nepal works with the communities to ensure that no one is left behind.

For more information on our actions in Nepal during the Covid-19 pandemic, please click here. If you have any specific questions about our work or our response, please don’t hesitate to contact our Director Tom Edwards on tom@phaseworldwide.org.


Help us continue our work

Your donation will help change lives

If you would like to support the work of PHASE Worldwide and help us to continue empowering people living in isolated regions of Nepal the best way to do so is through regular giving. Even the smallest amount a month can make a huge difference. As a regular supporter you will receive a welcome pack, exclusive updates and will become part of the PHASE family. You can set up your regular gift easily and securely online.

Support us

More articles

View all
28 Jul 20

#RosieRuns: Update Feed

  20 August 2020 Rosie stopped off in Bristol to visit the PHASE Worldwide team on her way from Land’s End to John O’Groats. The team were very happy to see her and had a lovely time hearing about her stories from the road.   10 July 2020 Rosie is…

Read
28 Jul 20

Covid-19: Update from Nepal

As lockdown in Nepal begins to ease, the strict measures put in place to inhibit the transmission of the coronavirus have successfully resulted in a decreased rate of new cases. At the time of writing, there have been 18,241 confirmed Covid-19 cases in Nepal; 12,840 people have recovered; 5,538 are…

Read
22 Jun 20

Supporting the Most Vulnerable during Covid-19

Whilst slowing down across the UK, the number of confirmed cases in Nepal is increasing steadily. As of June 22, the coronavirus has spread to 76 of the country’s 77 districts. Cases have been confirmed across all districts within which PHASE Worldwide currently operates (Bajura: 70, Gorkha: 47, Sindhupalchok: 28,…

Read