ACT Alliance-members like Christian Aid concentrate on supporting the most vulnerable people affected in any emergency. Like the young mother Samjhana Thami in Nepal. Due to the various consequences of the lockdown caused by the COVID-pandemic, she has no more access to the money sent from abroad by her husband. She didn’t know how to feed her baby.
“I was working before, but with my three-month-old child I cannot work right now. I was struggling to get proper nutritious food and depend on whatever I can get – mostly dhindo (flour cooked in boiling water) and potatoes to keep my hunger away. My child is fully fed by mother’s milk. My diet did not have the proper nutrition that I and the baby needed,” explains 26-years old Samjhana Thami from Dolakha, a district near Nepal’s capital Kathmandu.
ACT Alliance-member Christian Aid (CAID) Nepal, with its focus on gender justice and inclusion, gives priority to pregnant and lactating mothers, supporting them with nutritious food. After the outbreak of the corona virus the organisation prepared special food packages with different pulses, beans and Horlicks (a nutritious drink) to provide them with the essential nutrients they need. As of June 2020, CAID’s programme has helped 1190 women in five districts. The beneficiaries were identified in close coordination with health post, ward and rural municipality officials.
Understanding the special needs
Chameli Gurung, the Vice Chairperson of the Uttargaya Rural Municipality in Rasuwa which is another district CAID works in said, “We are really thankful for the support for these pregnant and lactating women. CAID understands the critical situation they face and helps them during the Covid pandemic”.
The work of Christian Aid not only covers the most vulnerable parts of the population, but also the most vulnerable areas of the country, including earthquake affected districts. Like all ACT-members, the organisation follows the Core Humanitarian Standard on Quality and Accountability (CHS) with its nine commitments to improve the quality and effectiveness of the assistance it provides.
CAID’s Country Director for Nepal Mani Kumar says: “Supporting pregnant women and lactating mothers in a pandemic is targeted to ensure dignified life with reduced health risks and an effective use of resources. The beneficiaries are people who need assistance and are often left behind.”