Aaista*, her husband Prem* and their four children live in a village in Budhinandha Municipality (Bajura District in Nepal’s West.) Like many families in the region, Prem provided for his family by working as a daily labourer in the local village. In December 2019, Aaista and Prem, along with most of the world, had no idea that in a few short months, everything was going to change.

Shortly into 2020, COVID-19 began to sweep the globe. It did not take long for the reverberations to be felt all around the world, reaching the foothills of the Himalayas, Budhinandha, and eventually Aaista’s village. Aarista and Prem did not contract COVID, but the impact of COVID had a huge effect on their family.

When Nepal went into lockdown in 2020, it stirred up much fear and anxiety for the family. How long would the country be in lockdown? How would they have enough for their basic needs if they could not work? What would they do?

The people in the village that had employed Prem were also fearful of how long the lockdown would last, and therefore did not offer any food or help to the family. They did not help “even though we have worked for them” Aaista said.

With no immediate solutions, Aaista and Prem had no choice but to ration the food they had. The family halved their daily food intake, going to bed with the feeling of an empty stomach. This situation went on for more than a week.

Almost two weeks at which point Aaista and Prem’s family received hope in the form of an emergency food parcel, organised and distributed by INF Nepal. At the time, this food parcel marked a turning point for the family.

“We were very happy and give thanks to all who helped with the support,” she said. “I thought, ‘Now we can survive…’”

Throughout 2020, there were another 1,000 families in a similar situation who also received emergency food parcels provided by INF Nepal. During the first wave of COVID, INF Australia has been able to respond in providing vital support including PPE & Hygiene kits, hand-washing stations, telehealth services, counselling, hospital beds and support for patients required to isolate, support for people with disabilities and emergency food parcels for those who lost their livelihoods.

Right now, the impacts of COVID-19 in India and Nepal are devastating. The daily rate of infection in Nepal is continuing to explode, and has risen 2,500% within a month. Hospitals are overflowing, patients on the floor and in corridors, and much of the country has gone into lockdown.

Please pray for the for the situation as INF Australia responds to requests from our partners on the ground to provide support like life-saving oxygen, emergency food parcels, treatment for COVID patients, essential PPE, hygiene kits and more.

Thank you so much for standing with Nepal in this challenging time, your prayers and support are vital and make a real difference.

* Names changed to protect privacy

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