As a second wave of COVID-19 continues to sweep devastatingly across India, the situation in its neighbouring country, Nepal, is also worrying. Despite this, the crisis has not received anywhere near the same attention, in terms of international coverage or support. Whilst official statistics (at the time of writing) do appear to suggest that infection rates have recently started to reduce, circumstances remain ever challenging and we know that the combination of communities living in remote rural areas, an under-resourced health system and low testing rates make the need for intervention just as critical.
Although we, at the British Asian Trust, recognise these challenges, we do not currently work in Nepal. Unlike our Oxygen for India Appeal which has been successful because of our generous supporter base and our existing track record and network of brilliant partners in-country, it would not be possible for us to mobilise an effective response for Nepal at this critical stage. However, we see it as our role in the development community to enable others to do great work there, and ultimately ensure that all those suffering find the help that they so desperately need.
To achieve this, we have been exploring several ways to support the situation, making sure that we add value to existing efforts, working in collaboration with organisations that already have a solid, reputable presence in the country. Of these, one national organisation of note is CREASION. To give them a brief introduction: CREASION is a small but mighty organisation that has been operating in disaster response work in Nepal since 2015. Since the beginning of the pandemic, CREASION has responded effectively and efficiently, providing people with oxygen cylinders, food rations and essential medical equipment.
CREASION’s ongoing work includes its #OxygenforNepal campaign, the impact of which has been considerable. They have been able to deliver a well-coordinated response due to their de-centralised response model, forming local #OxygenforNepal Chapters to ensure successful transit of the equipment and relief to the last mile. To date, the campaign’s achievements include the distribution of 512 oxygen cylinders, three oxygen concentrators and 10 oxygen generating plants as well as the circulation of other critical medical equipment and food rations to communities.
CREASION is also well placed to act swiftly due to receiving live requests from across the country directly from hospitals and health clinics, to which they are coordinating a response – and have received over 2,000 requests already.