The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has provided additional lifesaving supplies to Nepal’s COVID-19 pandemic response.
Dr Hashina Begum, UNFPA Deputy Representative, today handed over oxygen cylinders worth Rs 11.9 million (USD 100,000) to Dr Bhim Singh Tinkari, Director of Management Division, Ministry of Health and Population (MoHP).
The existing South-South and Triangular Cooperation Project agreement between the Governments of Nepal, China, and UNFPA enabled UNFPA to provide assistance to the Government of Nepal.
Nepal is experiencing a catastrophic oxygen shortage as it fights the second wave of COVID-19. The pandemic has put a huge strain on health-care facilities all around the country.
“Oxygen supplies are needed both to respond to the current catastrophe and to prepare for a possible third wave. Dr Tinkari stated, “This funding from the Chinese government and UNFPA will help boost access to health facilities with operational oxygen supplies.” “In our combined COVID-19 response efforts, we value our relationship with international development partners.”
The epidemic has taken a significant toll on vulnerable communities, particularly women of reproductive age, who face increasing impediments to maternal health and family planning services, leading to an increase in home deliveries.
“While we provide critical support to the COVID-19 response efforts, we must also ensure the continuity of reproductive health services, including a consistent supply of contraceptives and essential reproductive health commodities, to mitigate the impact of the unprecedented pandemic on women and girls,” said Lubna Baqi, UNFPA Representative in Nepal.
UNFPA is collaborating with federal, provincial, and local governments, as well as other partners, to ensure that the particular and distinctive needs of reproductive-age women and girls are met. “We are grateful to the Chinese government for their prompt assistance under the maternal health programme in giving oxygen cylinders to save lives at this vital time,” Baqi said.
UNFPA will continue to work with other UN agencies and development partners to support the government’s COVID-19 response plans in order to reduce the impact of the pandemic on progress toward the three transformative goals of ending preventable maternal deaths, meeting unmet family planning needs, and ending GBV and harmful practises.
UNFPA has already sent nearly 7,000 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits to MoHP, with assistance from the Chinese government, to assist the Nepalese government in preventing and responding to the pandemic while guaranteeing the continuity of life-saving SRH and GBV services for women and girls.
In addition, as part of COVID-19 and monsoon emergency responses, UNFPA distributed approximately 340,000 sanitary pads to young women and girls across the country through hospital-based One-Stop Crisis Management Centers and safe houses.