An update on our Covid-19 Global Emergency Response in India and Nepal

World Jewish Relief recently re-opened our Covid-19 Global Emergency Appeal in response to the devastating ongoing impact of the pandemic on some of the world’s most vulnerable communities.  

Since May 2020 we have worked in 12 countries including Mozambique,  Bangladesh, and Ukraine, fighting the spread of Covid-19. 

Thanks to the continued generosity of our supporters, we have launched projects in India and Nepal, supporting local efforts to curtail the spread of the virus and the devastation it is causing within communities. 

The world watched in horror as images of India’s deadly wave of Covid-19 made headlines earlier this year. There are still more than 100,000 new cases reported each day. From thousands of children orphaned by the pandemic to the sweeping loss of livelihoods and collapse of the healthcare system, the wider affects of the pandemic will be felt in India for a long time. 

In India we are partnering with a local NGO the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), to provide urgently needed hygiene and healthcare supplies at a household and a communal level. With our support, SEWA is providing 900 households with a health kit containing items such as hand sanitiser, masks and soap. Some of these items are being produced by SEWA’s handicraft and health cooperatives, in turn supporting the livelihoods of local women. 

On a communal level, SEWA is equipping 20 local leaders with emergency health kits, including oximeters, thermometers, and medication, with which they can assist 400 people each. These local leaders are also being trained to offer locals advice on everything from how to register for a vaccine, to basic medical advice for people infected with the virus, and Covid-19 prevention. 

Whilst the terrible situation in India has made headlines, Nepal is simultaneously battling its own deadly wave of Covid-19 and is struggling to cope. There are around 6,000 new infections a day, more cases per million than India. Due to misinformation, a lack of testing, and for many the inability to isolate, the pandemic is spreading rapidly in both urban and rural areas. 

We are responding in Nepal through two local partners, the Friends Service Council Nepal (FSCN) and the Community Self-Reliance Centre (CSRC), both of which we have worked with since 2015. 

With our support, FSCN is focusing on the urban centre of Lalitpur, where they have employed a team of volunteers to share information about Covid-19. Similarly to SEWA, they are providing basic medical supplies to individuals, whilst supplying larger items such as oxygen cannisters to local health centres for communal use. 

Due to the devastating impact of the pandemic on people’s jobs and livelihoods, with our support, FSCN is also providing food packages to 200 households for whom the pandemic has affected their income. 

In the more rural areas, CSRC is providing medical centres with essential supplies, whilst also helping individuals to cover the often-prohibitive cost of taking an ambulance to hospital. They are also providing food to individuals staying in health or isolation centres, where the cost of meals is high. 

Across our work, we prioritise identifying local delivery partners based with the communities we are supporting. By responding through trusted local partners in India and Nepal we can ensure that resources and information are easily accessible, culturally sensitive, and delivered in the local language. 

As the UK cautiously emerges from our own Covid-19 emergency, World Jewish Relief will continue to monitor the ongoing impact of the pandemic on the world’s most vulnerable communities. 

You can support our Covid-19 Global Emergency Appeal now by clicking here.

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