27 May PRESS RELEASE: INF responds as Nepal devastated by coronavirus
A Birmingham charity is appealing for help as Nepal becomes one of the world’s coronavirus hotspots.
International Nepal Fellowship (INF), a charity based in Selly Oak, is responding with urgently needed relief such as food packages and medical supplies to help those impacted by the devastating effects of the pandemic.
The distressing scenes witnessed recently in India have ripped across South Asia and quickly overwhelmed Nepal’s fragile healthcare system, resulting in a shortage of hospital beds and oxygen supplies. Official case numbers in Nepal are now above 500,000, with more than 6,000 deaths – and both totals are rising fast as each day passes – but many will also go unreported.
Reports of those tested for Covid-19 in Nepal show as many as 50% positive results, which is the highest ratio in the world.*
Nepal only has 1,595 intensive care beds and 480 ventilators for its population of about 30 million people.*
INF has launched a Coronavirus Crisis Appeal (www.inf.org.uk/crisis) to extend its support for people in Nepal as they battle this second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
John Reynolds, Chief Executive of the International Nepal Fellowship, said: “This crisis in Nepal has overwhelmed hospitals Kathmandu and other cities, as well as basic health posts which serve the poorest communities in mountainous rural districts.
“Nepal escaped the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic last year, but this deadly second wave has quickly caused widespread suffering across the county. The impact is likely to be even more severe than the major earthquake which hit Nepal in 2015.
“For nearly 70 years, INF has been committed to serving Nepalis in the greatest need. We have already committed an initial £40,000 of support for our partners in Nepal, which includes distributing food packages for nearly 2,000 people in the poorest communities and helping 60 people with the cost of hospital treatment.
“We are now asking people if they can donate to help those in Nepal who are suffering due to Covid and struggling to feed their families – the cost of hospital treatment is beyond most people in Nepal’s poorest districts, and many daily wage labourers who can’t work during lockdown are unable to afford enough food.
“Nepal may seem far removed from our UK situation as lockdown restrictions here are eased, however we must remember that the battle against the Covid-19 pandemic is a global issue. Developing nations such as Nepal need the help of the international community to overcome this healthcare and humanitarian crisis.”
INF will continue to provide additional support to partners in Nepal as needs emerge during this second wave of Covid-19, and to help Nepalis recover from the health, economic and humanitarian impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.
Photos: Editorial images of the current situation in Nepal are available from services such as Getty and Reuters.
Notes to Editors:
INF’s Coronavirus Crisis Appeal can be found at www.inf.org.uk/crisis.
John Reynolds is available for interview and further comment on Thursday 27th and Friday 28th May. Please contact him directly on email@example.com or call 07736 381118.
International Nepal Fellowship is an international NGO (non-governmental organisation) based in Selly Oak, Birmingham, partnering with local NGOs in Nepal who deliver healthcare, community development, and disaster relief programmes. INF is a UK registered charity (number 1047178). Find out more at: www.inf.org.uk.
* Sources include: ReliefWeb (UN) / Nepal’s Health Emergency Operation Centre (HEOC).