KATHMANDU: In the midst of the worsening COVID-19 crisis, the United Nations and its allies in Nepal have initiated an emergency COVID-19 plan and called for international unity to secure the lives of Nepal’s most vulnerable citizens and communities.
According to a press release released on Friday, the Nepal COVID-19 Response Plan was launched, requesting $83.7 million to coordinate an emergency response over the next three months to help 750,000 of the most vulnerable people affected by the pandemic.
The Nepal Humanitarian Country Team and the Government of Nepal’s COVID-19 Crisis Management Center (CCMC) both endorsed the proposal, which sets out vital areas of support needed to supplement the government’s response efforts.
“The new epidemic is having a devastating effect not only on health but across all sectors,” said UN Resident Coordinator Sara Beysolow Nyanti, “hitting the poorest and most vulnerable people in Nepali society the hardest.” Today, we are launching the COVID-19 Response Plan, which calls for immediate action and international unity in order to save lives and avoid needless suffering today, tomorrow, and in the coming weeks. We don’t have time to waste.”
Following several months of relatively low daily cases in Nepal, the number of cases began to rapidly increase in mid-April, increasing from 150 cases per day in early April to over 8,000 cases per day after 5 May. Over 44% of COVID-19 tests nationwide are positive, implying that the number of cases is far higher than registered. Despite the fact that the surge began almost three weeks after India’s, Nepal has nearly the same number of daily cases per capita as India, but with a health system that is much less capable, according to the press release.
“The recent surge in cases has resulted in an unprecedented need for medical supplies, including oxygen, antibiotics, ventilators, diagnostic kits, and vaccines,” said WHO Representative to Nepal, Dr. Rajesh Sambhajirao Pandav. Though WHO and collaborators are assisting Nepal in staging a strong response, combating the pandemic needs international cooperation.” He urged Nepalese friends from all over the world to step forward and assist in meeting the country’s urgent needs.
“Nepal is undergoing an unprecedented new COVID-19 wave, with a sharp rise in cases that has overwhelmed Nepal’s vulnerable health system,” said UNICEF Representative for Nepal, Elke Wisch. We must not ignore the devastating wider effect of the current COVID-19 surge on Nepal’s children and young people as we respond to the urgent health crisis to help save lives. They’re being cut off from important support networks, losing parents and guardians, and seeing scenes that no child should ever see. If we are to avoid Nepalese children from having their childhoods disrupted for good, we must work together on a national and international level.”