Time is running out. We need to act now, and we need your help.
At this very moment, Nepal could be on the brink of one of the worst humanitarian crises of our generation.
The country’s government-enforced complete lockdown has severely compromised access to food and clean water. Medical workers and supplies are scarce. For many, income sources have entirely evaporated.
In times of adversity, vulnerable communities are always hit hardest.
As we approach the 5th anniversary of the devastating earthquake on 25th April, I am reminded of the disproportionate impact that the tragedy had on the poorest and most vulnerable Nepalese communities. An impact from which many are still struggling to recover and now face not only the health risks of COVID-19, but also the likely dire consequences of Nepal remaining in lockdown for an extended period.
Children undoubtedly face the biggest threats – starvation, sickness and increased violence and abuse are sadly the inevitable risks of an extensive and enduring health, social and economic crisis.
Kidasha’s intervention is a matter of life and death.
We are launching a crisis appeal to raise the funds necessary to help fight the devastating impact of both the lockdown and the COVID-19 health risks on the communities we work with in Nepal.
Our dedicated staff and partners have spent the past month rescuing the most at-risk children – those living on the streets, helping them return to their families or moving them to the safety of our rehabilitation shelter. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of these children had never taken the opportunity of support to move on from the street and as such this is their first step to rehabilitation. This means that staff, already working 12-hour days in extremely constrained circumstances, have the additional stress of managing some extremely challenging behaviours, fuelled by sudden withdrawal from substance abuse.
Our team have also been keeping in contact with c.800 of the most vulnerable families living in slums, providing advice and guidance on mitigating the risk of contracting COVID-19; how to access government support and services and also advising on coping mechanisms to reduce stress and mitigate the increased risk of violence and abuse within their households.
Within this population, we have identified approx. 200 families at particular risk because not only is the lockdown denying them any paid labour opportunities, but for varying reasons they have not been able to access government support. We are doing as much as we can to provide a lifeline for these families including providing ‘ration’ packs of basic supplies – e.g. rice, pulses, oil, flour etc and also soap. We are also lobbying with the local authorities to make sure ALL the most vulnerable families are provided with support.
However, the threat of starvation or family breakdown is for so many a very real possibility and we urgently need your support to protect some of the poorest children in Nepal from hunger, neglect, and the wider risks of COVID-19.
Thank you, and stay safe.
Janice Miller, Chief Executive