UN appeals for funds to help Nepal deal with COVID-19 Voice of America
GENEVA – The United Nations is appealing for nearly $ 84 million to help 750,000 people in Nepal suffering from a devastating wave of COVID-19.
In many ways, the epidemic in Nepal may be even worse than the wave of destruction that has ravaged neighboring India.
The United Nations said on Friday that Nepal had roughly the same number of daily cases per capita as India, but with a much weaker health system unable to cope with the crisis.
The World Health Organization said Nepal has recorded nearly 500,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 6,000 deaths. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said the number of cases was rising rapidly. He said cases had risen from 150 per day in early April to more than 8,000 cases per day since May 5.
OCHA spokesperson Jens Laerke said all sectors of Nepalese society were reaching a breaking point.
“Millions of people are grappling with the direct health impact of the pandemic, but also hunger, malnutrition, devastating economic losses and other health needs that are neglected,” Laerke said. “The current epidemic is hitting the poorest and most marginalized people in the country. Nepal is the toughest.
OCHA said the dramatic rise in cases has created an unprecedented need for medical supplies, including oxygen, medicine, ventilators, diagnostic kits and vaccines. He warned that the lives of many people sick with the coronavirus would be lost because Nepal lacked the supplies needed to save them.
Laerke said a positive response to the UN’s $ 83.7 million response plan was crucial to prevent this.
“Our plan calls for swift action and the international solidarity that is desperately needed to save lives and avoid unnecessary suffering today and in the difficult weeks ahead,” he said. “We do not have time to lose”.
The United Nations response plan aims to address the health and humanitarian consequences of COVID-19, helping hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Nepalese with health, food, education, nutrition, shelter, protection, water and sanitation.