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Highlights

  • CSOs engaged for immediate response, food support, transportation, medical equipment and volunteer mobilization across the country.
  • Many NGOs/CSOs have taken initiatives to distribute relief materials across the country,
  • CSOs have organized public health awareness programs,
  • High Level Joint Monitoring Mechanisms formed at the central, province and district levels. Members include National Human Rights Commission, NGO Federation of Nepal, Nepal Bar Association and Federation of Nepali Journalists.
  • CSOs haven been making cash supports to the COVID-19 relief funds of local, province and central governments,
  • Social Welfare Council (SWC) started coordination with CSOs and developed fast-track project approval for COVID-19 response
  • Government issued guideline for volunteer mobilization in the communities,
  • Lobby and advocacy continues for effective response by government  
  • Government has agreed to form a high level CSOs mobilization committee
  • Started to organize in-depth research and fact findings about impact, response and recovery of COVID-19 on socio-economy, politics and SDGs. Research is coordinated by NFN included high level experts, academicians, think-tanks  and CSO leaders.
  • Human rights monitoring network has published first two months of report

 

NGO Federation of Nepal (NFN) has taken a number of initiatives in prevention of coronavirus (COVID-19) and mitigate its effect in society, economy and public health. 

 

19 March 2020. Initially, NFN developed and disseminated a poster for public awareness on COVID-19.  On March 19, NFN made a call for action mainly encouraging everyone for social distancing, sanitation, arranging work from home, following only the authentic news and information, etc.

 

27 March. As a leading civil society organization in Nepal, NFN issued a statement in which NFN called upon the government and everyone concerned to make the food and other basic goods and services available, control black marketing and hoarding of essential goods, protect the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable people, mange well the quarantine and isolation centers, maintain transparency and accountability in all the actions against COVID-19, and come together in providing relief and necessary support to the needy people .

 

29 March. NFN made an appeal for solidarity and support to cope with the coronavirus (COVID 19) pandemic in Nepal. In this, NFN has appealed to continue delivering emergency health services and sale/distribution of medicines, to make food and other essentials available in reasonable price, to come up with a relief package, to make adequate provisioning of identification, testing, isolation, and treatment measures including provisioning of all essential health equipment and supplies, to open more test and treatment facilities, and to mobilize the resources transparently. NFN also expressed partnership and solidarity in the fight against COVID-19.

 

3 April. In the meantime, NFN is in regular contact, coordination and sharing with the stakeholders. NFN and AIN held an online meeting to share ideas, issues and approaches to respond against coronavirus pandemic.

 

7 April. Interactions with the government agencies have also been continued. An online meeting was held with the Minister of Women, Children and Senior Citizens Hon. Parvat Gurung in participation of dozens of civil society leaders and development expert of Social Welfare Council Mr Bishal Kumar Bhattarai. The meeting decided some immediate actions for engagement of CSO's actions for engagement of CSOs to support the government during COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal. 

 

7th April. A people's dialogue against COVID-19 pandemic was held, aimed to discuss the details on the possible roles of CSOs in working together with the government in responding to COVID-19 and its possible threats to public health, economy, environment as well as equity, justice, and development partnership. A total of 69 participants representing various federations, associations, alliances, networks, I/NGOS, and other CSOs joined the meeting. Hon. Min Bahadur Shahi, Member of National Planning Comission, also participated and shared his views. 

 

9 April. Civil society leaders also had a meeting with NPC. Vice-chair of National Planning Commission (NPC) Hon. Dr. Pushpa Raj Kandel, and member Hon. Mr Min Bahadur Shahi represented the NPC and the government in the meeting. The discussion was focused on fostering better partnership between Government and CSOs. 

 

Online interaction and sharing with international networks and alliances have been continued to share and learn from each other.

 

9 April. Along with 19 other civil society networks and federations, NFN issued a press statement on 9th April. The press statement has appealed, among others, for management of quarantine and isolation centers as per the established standards, provisioning of essential health supplies and PPE, relief package for pregnant and women in their maternity, senior citizens, children, poor, landless and wage laborers, control of false messages, and adhere to the fundamental rights of citizens. 

 

10 April. Headed by National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), a multi-stakeholder human rights monitoring network has been established at the national level to monitor the human rights situation during the period of response against COVID-19 pandemic. Similar networks/committees have been set up at the province and district levels. NHRC has led the province level human rights mechanism. NFN is one of the members of the network at all levels – national, province and district. NFN has been taking the leading roles in most of the district level monitoring committee/networks.

12 April. By making use of the Internet, central committee members, province committee members and district committee members have been holding meetings for taking strategic steps and contribute on behalf of CSOs. The board meeting on reviewed the present status, efforts, and response against the COVID-19 pandemic in Nepal. NFN board members and NFN secretariat staff took part in the webinar and shared their views and updated the then situation at federal, province and local government levels. 

19 April. To fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the member organizations have been supporting the government through a range of actions that include relief distribution, information collection, coordination, providing building and space for quarantine center, etc. CSOs, NGOs, development activists and the people in general have been urged to support through an appeal to CSOs, NGOs and others

 

29 April. Chaired by Hon. member of National Planning Commission (NPC) Mr Min Bahadur Shahi and with Hon. Minister for Women, Children and Senior Citizens (MoWCSC) Mr Parbat Gurung as the special guest, a meeting was held with various civil society networks, federations, alliances and civil society leaders. Coordinated by NGO Federation of Nepal, the meeting had participation of Secretary of MoWCSC Ms Yam Kumari Khatiwada, Joint Secretary of MoWCSC Mr Gyanendra Poudel, and Member Secretary of Social Welfare Council (SWC) Mr Shiva Kumar Basnet.

 

11 June. Human rights monitoring network in the context of Covid-19 pandemic published its first report covering the first two months. The report was launched by the Chair of National Human Rights Commission Hon. Anup Raj Sharma amidst a virtual meeting which was attended by over 200 participants. 

 

Representatives of civil society networks, federations and CSOs shared the contributions they have been making in prevention and response against Covid-19 and the challenges they are facing in this regard. They requested the government representatives to facilitate or allow for the opportunity to contribute or support the government in this crisis. They expressed their readiness to utilize the resources they have in response to Covid-19. They also drew the attention of the government to the problems faced by women in their pregnancy, maternity, and alarmingly increased maternal mortality after the lockdown started. This has mainly happened in lack of rescue mechanism. The government was also requested to adopt a balanced approach rather than only lockdown since not only the poor and marginalized but also the middle class families have started to suffer.

 

The Minister, Member of NPC and officials of MoWCSC and SWC expressed their commitment to better mobilize CSOs by making a guideline and also to consider the suggestions and issues presented in the meeting. CSO federations and networks were requested to send their action plan to MoWCSC about what they can do; and provide suggestions/recommendations on CSO Act.

 

Nepal Government has established a fund for prevention and control of coronavirus. As the Government has ordered one-door policy and has asked to contribute to the fund, NFN has issued a request for fund collection and has been collecting fund from its executive committees at the central, province and districts, staff, members and other sources. The fund thus collected will be handed over or deposited ultimately to the government fund.

NFN has been undertaking the monitoring and report collection of the human rights situation at the central, province and district levels. It has also been collecting the information and data about the contribution of social organizations in coronavirus pandemic prevention, control, relief and management. This will culminate to a national report.

 

Download policy documents/guidelines of Nepal Government

  1. Working Procedures of Human Rights Monitoring Network in the Context of COVID-19, 2020 (Nepali)
  2. Corona Fund Guideline, 2020 (Nepali)
  3. Quarantine Operations and Management Guideline, 2020 (Nepali)
  4. Relief Guideline, 2020 (Nepali)
  5. Protocol for dead body management in the context of COVID-19