Nepal: Protecting People with Disabilities During COVID-19

11th May 2020

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Food, medicine, and other critical supplies help families at risk survive the coronavirus pandemic.

Manish Shahi and his family are some of the most vulnerable people in the world. In an instant, they could lose everything—their health and their home—due to the threat of COVID-19.

Manish, 25, lives in Nepal and has an intellectual disability. He also cannot walk and has limited use of his arms. His mother stays home to care for him and his two younger siblings while his father, a day-to-day labourer, barely makes enough money for the family to survive.

That was before COVID-19.

To slow the spread of the deadly virus, Nepal imposed a national travel and commerce lockdown. Businesses, factories, farms, and construction projects all shut down. With no work and no income, Manish’s father knew his family was facing disaster. They had food for only one more day.

Food to Survive

Through donations and prayers of supporters, Samaritan’s Purse and our Christian partner organisation in Nepal delivered food to Manish’s family and to about 300 other households in desperate need.

Each emergency food package delivered in Nepal contains a 30-kilogram bag of rice, as well as lentils, vegetables, fruit, cooking oil, salt, and sugar.

Each emergency food package delivered in Nepal contains a 65 lb bag of rice, as well as lentils, vegetables, fruit, cooking oil, salt, and sugar.

Each food package contains a 65 lb bag of rice, as well as lentils, vegetables, fruit, cooking oil, salt, and sugar. The supplies also include soap, as one of the most important defences against COVID-19 is regular hand washing.

“We are happy and we thank you from the core of our heart,” Manish’s mother said.

Manish’s family is one of several receiving not only food but also medication and medical supplies. They are also being offered counselling to help combat fears and anxiety sparked by COVID-19.

Prevention Through Education

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, we have launched a preventative education campaign with one of our partners to share life-saving information with thousands of Nepalese. The campaign emphasises the importance of hand washing, social distancing, and self-isolation to avoid contracting and spreading COVID-19.

To identify the area’s most at-risk families, we are working alongside local churches and other community contacts. These families—already struggling with poverty and the challenges of caring for loved ones with disabilities—are now trying to cope with the economic upheaval caused by the pandemic.

Caring For the Sick and Injured

Through this project, hundreds of sick and injured children from rural Nepal receive the surgeries and other medical help they need. The need for this work continues during this global health crisis.

The health and economic devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic will continue for months and years to come. Families like Manish’s will suffer the most. Your prayers and support will ensure that teams demonstrating God’s love and compassion will be there to offer practical help and a message of hope.

Please continue to bring His hope and compassion to those in great need.

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