INGOs in Nepal lend a helping hand to fight Covid-19

Kathmandu, April 21 : The Association of International NGOs in Nepal (AIN) has welcomed the government decision allowing INGOs to deviate up to 20 percent of existing project budgets to fight the coronavirus pandemic crisis facing the nation.

In a statement on Tuesday, the umbrella body of international non-profits in the country has hailed the Social Welfare Council’s move to fast track process in approval of new projects for COVID-19 Preparedness and Response.

“Many INGOs have implemented some COVID-19 response projects. Many others are at the final stage of implementation, some are waiting for donors’ approval,” the AIN said in the statement. The association has also expressed its commitment to working in a coordinated manner with the line ministries, SWC and local governments for the cause.

Sharing the data from its latest survey, the association said the non-profits had helped the local governments in establishing temporary handwashing stations and materials required for setting up isolation and quarantine centres.

The Association of International NGOs in Nepal says many INGOs have implemented some COVID-19 response projects, and others are at the final stage of implementation.

According to the AIN, the INGOs have provided around 2,000 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) sets, over 2,000 N-95 masks, 95,000 surgical masks and thousands of shoe covers, aprons and gloves to the health facilities, local, provincial government units.

Besides, a joint procurement effort by 15 AIN members purchased hygiene and medical supplies, including more than 4,500 PPE sets. “Additional 2,300 PPE sets are ready to be distributed this week,” it said. The joint procurement and ready-to-distribute PPE sets are valued at Rs 65 million.

Ventilators, quarantine beds, mattresses, cardiac monitors, electric suction machines, ECG machines, have been dispatched to health service facilities, across the country, the association said.

Most AIN members started awareness and orientation campaigns since mid-March in line with National Health Education Information Communication Center (NHEICC) under the Ministry of Health and Population.

“Public Service Announcements (PSAs) in Nepali and local languages were aired through more than 300 community radios across the country reaching out to more than 16.5 million people across all seven provinces,” the AIN said.

Approximately, 60,000 pamphlets and 11,500 fliers have been distributed to local authorities in Province 2, 5 and 7, it said. “Many visual awareness messages designed in sign languages are also being disseminated.”

The INGOs have deployed community health mobilizers in the frontline to support the local government at health desks for fever checking, information dissemination and record-keeping of migrants returning to the villages from India and other countries, the association said.

Besides, delivering relief, including food packages, to thousands of vulnerable and worst affected households as per the government guideline, the non-profits carried out activities to mitigate Covid-19’s possible impact on child children, mainly belonging to the most vulnerable and deprived households.

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