With Nepal facing a COVID-19 catastrophe along with its neighbour India, Australian Lutheran World Service (ALWS) last month launched an appeal for urgent funds towards emergency medical supplies, health care and support for the Himalayan nation.

Donations are being bolstered by Australian Government funding on a 5:1 basis – for every dollar donated, the government will contribute $5.

Last week, Nepal reported 9070 daily infections of COVID-19 – its highest ever rate, while 47 per cent of COVID tests are coming back positive. International news media outlets are reporting that Nepal’s health system is overwhelmed by cases of the virus and that medical supplies have run out.

On 6 May, Lutheran World Federation’s Nepal team, supported by our LCANZ family through ALWS, delivered supplies including hospital beds, IV fluid stands, face shields and surgical masks to Jhapa Rural Municipality. Jhapa borders India, and so is in the frontline COVID danger zone, according to ALWS Community Action Manager Jonathan Krause.

Jonathan said the equipment would be part of a 20-bed Isolation centre the local government is setting up. ‘It is essential because two people in this small area have already died from COVID-19, and another 29 are in home isolation’, he said.

‘Aid is offered to all. You help people regardless of religion, gender and politics and your care is focused on those who are most vulnerable because of age, disability or status in the community.’

To donate to the ALWS Nepal COVID appeal, go to www.alws.org.au/donate and select ‘Nepal 5:1’ from the drop-down menu or phone 1300 763 407.

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