Reaching out to the most Vulnerable

  • Dipendra Lamsal

The world is fighting against the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. The virus has brought in an exceptional impact in our lives. The recent scenario of COVID-19 shows that its spread is becoming extensive in Nepal.

Caritas Nepal (CN) is working with its local partners to ensure that the most vulnerable continue to have the food and income they need to lift themselves and their families out of the COVID-19 crisis. As the world shuts down in the midst of a pandemic, numerous people are stranded at the airports and bus stations. Many are walking miles and miles in order to get back home.

Caritas Nepal outreach in terms of locations on COVID-19 response. (19

At CN, we always emphasise on minimising the serious threats due to poverty in the lives of the vulnerable. After having gone through the multi-dimensional impacts of COVID-19, significant concerns have been discussed at all levels while preparing effective strategies on poverty reduction.

In this time of crisis, our primary targeted people includes –

  1. Elderly
  2. Children
  3. Lactating mothers, and
  4. People living with disabilities

Almost 44 percent of marginalised families among the 12,000 targeted were supported through food, non-food and hygiene kits in almost all our working areas.

Chart on CN outreach in terms of households. (5272 HH)

As of May 20, 2020 COVID-19 the number of infectees in Nepal has crossed over 400 and with two deaths. Now the seriousness and vulnerability of its outbreak is undeniable. Seeing the dire need in Dhanusha, 125 families living with disabilities were provided with basic relief support which included rice, oil, lentils, salt and potatoes when the country is in lockdown.

Implementing COVID-19 response initiatives, CN, in collaboration with Social Development and Research Centre (SDRC), our implementing partner, reached out to the needy in Dhanusa.

Caritas Nepal’s Regional Manager, Janak Prasad Sharma orienting beneficiaries before distributing relief materials in Nepalgunj.

I am thankful for this generous support from Caritas through SDRC. It means a lot for us now as my family can eat for more than 2 weeks.

Brahamdev Thakur, (46),
Janakpur, Dhanusha

Nepal is in shutdown for more than 40 days. Landless and labour workers are badly affected as they don’t have work which means no daily wages. Families depending solely on daily wages for survival are suffering the most. Keeping in mind the urgent need of the affected families, CN has co-ordinated with National Federation of the Disabled in Nepal (NFDN) for an efficient and timely distribution of relief goods during this period of national shutdown.

SDRC, our implementing partner, distributing relief packages in Janakpur, Dhanusa

As the magnitude of the pandemic seems uncertain, therefore, a goodwill partnership is a must between the public, private and civil society to stand firm in this time of adversity. A good collaboration with development/implementing partners, international non-government organizations also plays an equally important role in reaching out to the vulnerable.

In another event, for the last 40 days, 231 people of Humla were stranded at the Nepalgunj airport. Our regional office in Kohalpur coordinated with the local government in providing the stranded passengers with basic necessities such as rice, lentils, cooking oil, salt and washing soap.  

Relief support being conducted in Nepalgunj airport where 231 people from Humla were stranded in the past 40 days due to lockdown.

Nepalgunj is one of the most vulnerable cities in Nepal with the possibilities of COVID-19 outbreak. It has been reported that a round of 40 cases out of total number of COVID-19 cases in the country have been confirmed in Nepalgunj. In adherence to support the local authorities in Nepalgunj, CN is committed and is working actively to raise awareness in the local communities regarding COVID-19 using various platforms.

Chart showing district wise outreach on COVID-19 initiatives of Caritas Nepal.

COVID -19 has affected scores of people and their lives. In order to keep the balance, Specialised Humanitarian Action Team of CN has come up with an overall socio-economic and livelihood recovery packages to at least keep the normal life of the vulnerable afloat. In complying with the government appeal and advisories, CN has already initiated its response against COVID-19 in 19 districts of Nepal.

CN regional and field office team preparing for relief distribution in Nepalgunj.

Caritas Nepal is grateful and appreciates the dedication of its implementing partners, donors and compassionate individuals who have worked tirelessly in reaching out to the people in need and by uplifting the economy and livelihood of the vulnerable.

Read latest infograph showcasing the relief response initiatives, activities and sectors of Caritas Nepal.  

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