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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, Humla: 1, Mugu: 1; June 22, Kathmandu Post). In addition to the immediate health concerns brought on by the coronavirus, a number of secondary challenges are starting to present themselves. Covid-19 has resulted in an increase in the national maternal mortality rate (MMR) due to mothers not seeking necessary healthcare, and has already resulted in decreased food security across some areas of Nepal; it is clear that coronavirus will significantly impact the most vulnerable.

In light of this, PHASE Worldwide is pleased to report that we have secured funding to support relief efforts in Nepal’s ongoing struggle with coronavirus. This news means that we are able to supply food, medicine, essential WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) items, and emergency cash grants to 200 families with a disabled household member in Kathmandu and Bhaktapur. Those with disabilities are often some of the most vulnerable in times of crisis; this support will go a long way in helping these individuals and their families during these increasingly challenging times.

Since Nepal’s lockdown began in late-March, all road travel, by vehicle and on foot, has been prohibited. Whilst a necessary measure for reducing the spread of the coronavirus, this decision has resulted in a loss of income for many households, particularly among families whose incomes are reliant on daily labourers who need to travel for work.

In May, PHASE identified and began supporting 30 of these such households. With new funding from the Evan Cornish Foundation, we can extend our emergency response efforts to support a further 200 families which will impact around 800 people.

  • All 200 of these households will receive essential WASH items such as soaps for handwashing and bathing. This is an important measure in maintaining good hygiene whilst preventing the spread of coronavirus.
  • 100 households will receive essential dry foods including 25kg of rice, 4kg of lentil dal, as well as oils and spices; basic items of the Nepali diet that will prevent the impact of malnutrition.
  • 50 families will receive basic medical supplies such as catheters, urine bags, adult diapers, and other basic medical supplies to support individuals with varying disabilities.
  • Furthermore, 50 of the most vulnerable families will receive emergency cash grants for them to fulfil other essential needs such as buying cooking fuel and utility costs.

Once the households we have identified have received the intended items from this emergency response, PHASE staff will continue to support all the families until lockdown measures are expected to ease. 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 on tom@phaseworldwide.org.


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