Purnima COVID-19 response

Purnima is providing essential technical and financial support to rural communities in Nepal for direct action for COVID-19 control, and to ensure no one is left behind in the response to and recovery from the pandemic. We are focusing on four areas:

  1. assisting local governments in their planning and management of the COVID-19 response and recovery;
  2. supporting socio-economic and livelihood recovery for vulnerable populations, including those made newly vulnerable by the COVID-19 restrictions;
  3. strengthening water, sanitation and hygiene facilities; and
  4. communicating accurate health messages.

The recent crisis has most affected those Nepalis who were already socially and economically vulnerable, including the extremely poor, people with disabilities, the elderly, single-women-headed households and internally displaced persons. Our support has helped these vulnerable groups access immediate relief and obtain support to restore their livelihoods. We have also helped those who have lost their livelihoods due to the pandemic, including helping returnee migrant workers to gain meaningful employment and set up new enterprises locally. We have provided psychosocial counselling and business recovery advice to local enterprises to enable them to recover lost business and restart their activities.

We have helped local governments to adapt and implement COVID-19-related policies, processes and procedures required by the federal government and we are helping them to integrate a COVID-19 strategy into their longer-term planning and budgeting, particularly by ensuring the economic inclusion and recovery is embedded in periodic and annual plans.

We have continued providing water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to communities, with additional messaging around the importance of hygiene for COVID control. Through this, we have increased the employment opportunities generated by infrastructure construction and management. We have also provided improved WASH facilities for quarantine and isolation facilities in public buildings.

Working with BBC Media Action, we have supplemented our direct interventions with radio messaging around COVID-19 control, covering risks, control measures, vaccines and also economic recovery.

Supporting local governance

We’ve strengthened the capacity of local government so that they have been able to focus on providing immediate relief to the most vulnerable.

We’ve worked with 22 gaunpalikas to establish COVID-19 sensitive policies, and programme and operational procedures, focusing on improved service delivery.

Providing hygiene facilities and supporting health communications

We’ve provided quarantine and isolation centers with WASH facilities that included touchless handwashing stations, water systems extension for drinking, bathing and toilet, toilet cleaning materials, construction of bathrooms and toilet, hygiene kits distribution, awareness messages to prevent transmission of the virus.

We’re working with BBC Media Action to deliver a Behavior Change Communication programme designed to raise awareness among the public of COVID-19 risks and control measures including hygiene and physical distancing. Radio programmes which include life-saving messages are being broadcasted throughout the country over multiple stations.

Purnima is very happy to collaborate with palikas in various districts for strengthening the capacity for service deliveries to protect their community people with proper Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) facilities and quarantine centers. And, also in upliftment of livelihood of vulnerable groups during COVID-19 pandemic.

In this recent radio episode Vice Chairperson of Tadi rural municipality in Nuwakot, Ms. Ishwari Upreti shares how they have been managing quarantine centers in coordination with various partners including Purnima.

The episodes can be accessed through Radio Milijuli’s Facebook page  and through Soundcloud, digitally.

Private sector development

We have adapted our helpdesks to disseminate information about accessing food and essential supplies. We’ve provided business recovery advice for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) including support with implementing safety measures to protect employees and customers.

Challenge Fund for the most vulnerable

The most vulnerable in society have felt the impact of COVID-19 the greatest. We are working closely with local governments in 12 palikas to provide relief for those most in need and plan longer-term support if it is required. We’ve helped to communicate health and hygiene messages and raised awareness among communities of the additional care and safeguarding requirements for vulnerable groups.

Read our impact stories here

Building back better

As a post-disaster programme, Purnima was well placed to pivot quickly to initiate new pandemic relief activities while continuing existing earthquake-recovery ones. Integrating a COVID-19 strategy into longer-term planning and budgeting will prove critical for protecting people’s health, supporting the most vulnerable, restoring livelihoods and putting Nepal’s long-term recovery plan back on track.

For more information, contact Kiran Wagle, Team Leader at [email protected]com and Rabindra Singh, Deputy Team Leader at [email protected]