News from the ACT Nepal Forum

The Nepal Forum had regular update meetings where each Forum Member informed about their plans and achievements. During the COVID-crisis, all of the ACT Alliance-members in Nepal were very active in emergency response, particularly in immediate food support, awareness raising, WASH activities, providing health kits (masks, gloves, sanitizers, soap), psychosocial support and psychological first aid, livelihood creation and recovery as well as monitoring accountability and transparency of COVID-19 response initiatives implemented at community level.

We would like to take out and present some projects which are unusual and might interest other forums:

Webinar on coffee supply chain

ICCO Cooperation was addressing a particular effect of the lockdown on Nepal’s economy. The prolonged winter resulted in national production to fall up to 40%, while the global lockdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is further hurting export, domestic trade, and small and medium enterprises along the coffee value chain. The limited ground that Nepalese coffee had gained in recognition and market share as specialty coffee around the world is under threat, as are jobs, revenue and liquidity. Therefore, the ACT-member organized a webinar session titled: ‘Panel Discussion on Nepalese Coffee Supply Chain Situation Analysis Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic’ in Nepali language. More information can be found in this Summary Report.

Members on air

FinnChurchAid (FCA) and DanChurch Aid (DCA) both went on air in order to raise awareness – both informing vulnerable groups living in remote areas about the consequences of COVID-19 by radio in local languages, reaching thousands of listeners.

Digital psychosocial support

The Nepal Forum members were also highly active in support by online media: Felm created distance learning possibilities in Bhume Rural Municipality and Putha Uttarganga Rural Municipality and 1) and offered psychological first aid and tele counselling by using toll free number and apps (Whatsapp, Viber, Skype). LWF held 389 telecounselling session on psychosocial support and mental health provided to vulnerable people, sent out 14 different SMSs on COVID-19 precaution measures. Other messages related to sexual and gender-based violence and the complaints response mechanism were communicated to rights holders groups through 757 community representatives.