As countries globally plunge into enforced lockdowns to check the spread of the virus, Nepal follows suit. Although Covid-19 cases have been comparatively low in Nepal than to its neighbouring countries Indian and China, it has been hardest-hit countries by the freeze of economic activity.
The government of Nepal has directed local government to distribute food to those whose livelihoods have been affected by the Covid-19 related economic meltdown. Food distribution is one of the several measures that are being introduced by the government to protect the economically marginalised who face the greater brunt of the nationwide lockdown. Other mesaures include subsidies on electricity, telecommunication and essential commodities sold through public corporations. Similarly, the import tax on medical equipment and kits have been removed. The government has also directed schools not to charge school fees for a month while landlords have been urged to refrain from taking rent from the poor.
Deadlines for businesses to pay income tax as well as other taxes have been extended, while all have been directed to pay outstanding salaries to their staff. In order to boost the morale of health workers, the government has announced an insurance coverage of Rs 2.5 million to each health professional providing front line services to Civid19 affected patients. Some politicians, and human rights-based organisations, have expressed doubt over the governmentâ€™s ability to actually implement these plans.
In order to help the marginalised communities and people, the GHRD partner organisation in Nepal distributed food and medical supplies to the communities in Parsa.
From 1st to 5th of April 2020, Mr. Abhishek Tiwari and his Social Development Committee Nepal colleagues in Gardawal Parsa, Nepal worked together with the local police to distribute nearly 250 families dry foods such as rice, salt, soybean, masks and hand sanitizers, to the marginalised people from the village who are facing difficulties as daily wage earners. Each family received 12 kilograms of rice, 1 packet of salt and 1 pound of soybean to each family. The Social Development Committee distributed similar relief packages to 15 families in Barainiya, Parsa, Nepal on 10th of April.