Request for urgent help to Nepal to fight the dire situation due to the current wave of COVID-19 Pandemic

The Hon Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister of Australia
PO Box 6022, House of Representatives Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Hon Prime Minister,
On behalf of the Federation of Nepalese Community Associations of Australia (FeNCAA), a national coordinating body of the Nepalese community organisations in Australia, we would like to request you for your urgent help to Nepal to fight the dire situation due to the current wave of COVID-19 Pandemic engulfing India and Nepal, which share open boarder.
As you are aware that the second wave of COVID-19 crisis has caused significant loss of life, disruption of livelihoods and threatening the collapse of health system in Nepal due to fast spreading of new virus variants. The reported death rate per day is alarming and is still on rise. Please find attached a copy of the presentation from the Ministry of Health, Government of Nepal for your kind information.

Nepal is now reporting over 20 daily Covid-19 cases per 100,000 people — about the same number as India was reporting two weeks ago. According to government figures quoted by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), about 44 per cent of Nepal’s Covid tests are coming back positive, and warned of an impending crisis. According to the Health Ministry of Nepal, out of the 185 hospitals across the country, only 26 have oxygen plants and not all of them are in operation. The Nepal Government is exploring all options in seeking support through its diplomatic missions overseas to procure oxygen concentrators, cylinders and drug dexamethasone, vaccinations to be able to control current crises and prevent loss of lives.
Nepal’s open border and relatively poor health infrastructure is not able to cope up with the current situation and prevent loss of lives which otherwise could be prevented if the country is able to procure and supply oxygen support systems or corticosteroid drugs dexamethasone and vaccinations.

Australia is a great supporter of Nepal and has been continuously supporting Nepal’s longer-term economic development and recently a generous response to the devastating 2015 earthquake was exemplary and is greatly appreciated. Please note that more than 117,000 people born in Nepal make Australia their home, more than 40,000 Australians travelled to Nepal in 2019 and, prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Nepalese students comprised the third largest group among Australia’s international student cohort. However, the current situation is an unprecedented humanitarian crisis never experienced before and Nepal would need urgent direct assistance from Australia to meet oxygen and vaccination demands. Most Nepalese Australians have their close relatives, including parents and siblings, in Nepal and they are severely affected by the second wave of the pandemic. Some of them have already lost their lives. Nepal’s Prime Minister, KP Sharma Oli, recently wrote: “Nepal’s history is one of hardship and struggle, yet this pandemic is pushing even us to our limits.” We support his appeal to the international community, “to help [Nepal] with vaccines, diagnostic tools, oxygen kits, critical care medicines and equipment, to support our efforts to save lives.” Federation of Nepalese Association of Australia would like to bring to your urgent attentionand kindly request you to:
• provide immediate support of essential medical equipment and resources – such as
ventilators, pulsesoxymeter, oxygen concentrators, Dexamethasone and PPE – as
well as additional funds to support Nepal’s medical response;
• increase direct funding and provision of additional vaccine doses to the COVAX
facility – noting that Australia’s fair share contribution to COVAX’s Advance Market
Commitment is $200 million in 2021 – to support equitable vaccine access globally;
• support the WTO TRIPS proposal put forward by India and South Africa – to waive
trade barriers which prevent or restrict manufacture and distribution of vaccines,
diagnostics, and treatments to fight COVID-19.

Lastly, we thank you for your kind consideration of our request and look forward to hearing from you and receiving urgently needed support to Nepal. Should you need more information
and clarification on our request, please do not hesitate to contact us on 0422 342 655 or by email at gs@fencaa.org.au.
Yours sincerely,

Dr Raju Adhikari,  President

Dr Krishna Hamal , General Secretary