Nepal Emergency Project – Survival in the Covid Era
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The Covid 19 emergency has hit Nepal hard: due to the very serious economic and employment implications, the already large number of people who cannot buy even the basic necessities for survival has increased.
There are no social safety nets or income support tools in the country, resulting in a situation of maximum economic emergency, especially for the most vulnerable.
Thousands of families, who arrived in Kathmandu in recent decades in search of work, driven by hunger, have returned to their villages of origin; but even here the emergency, after the successive waves of Covid, has become one of survival itself. For many it is a desperate situation caused by the isolation of the various lockdowns, the lack of economic resources due to the disappearance of small agricultural trade to the cities, the loss of work for the heads of families, new mouths to feed, and the impossibility of procuring those essential goods on which the simple Nepalese diet is based.
The Project presented and approved in 2021 by 8×1000 Italian Buddhist Union — which contributes 70% of the total cost — provided for the purchase in Kathmandu of basic foodstuffs (rice, flour, lentils, oil, salt) which were distributed:
A) to a number of community facilities in Kathmandu that house or support vulnerable people:
- Jorpati Family Home , Kathmandu: 40 children and young people without families
- Disabled Children’s Home, Kathmandu: 50 children and young people with disabilities
- Sed Gyued and Nyanang Phelgyeling Monasteries, Kathmandu: home to about 170 young monks, most of them without families or from families who cannot take care of them
- Gangchen Drupkhang Centre on the outskirts of Kathmandu: run by a monk, since 2006 it has offered training courses in traditional Himalayan handicrafts, assistance and work inclusion for people in difficulty. For years Gangchen Drupkhang has been a point of reference and help for extremely vulnerable people in the area (the elderly, disabled, infirm, single mothers)
- Food distribution also reached hundreds of families in difficulty on the outskirts of Arubari
B) to 12 villages identified as particularly isolated and in need of emergency aid, in remote districts of the Himalayan area (Sindhupalchowk, Ramechhap, Nuwakot, Makwanpur, Bhojpur).
The foodstuffs were transported to the villages by truck on the difficult Nepalese roads, and the distributions took place between the end of 2021 and beginning of 2022 by volunteers from Gangchen Drupkhang and the monks of the Sed Gyued, Phelgyeling and Serpom Monasteries, who also helped to identify the areas of greatest difficulty.
All families in each village were helped on the basis of the population lists submitted by the village chiefs, and the most vulnerable were also reached in their homes: lonely elderly people, the disabled, the sick.
A total of 8,000 people were helped.
The distribution, at a time of such great insecurity and fear for the future, was a moment of joy for everyone. Many thanks to 8×1000 Italian Buddhist Union and to all those who donated to this project!
The requests for help from villages continue, every further donation will allow us to reach other people in difficulty with food aid: THANK YOU!