Response during the COVID-19 pandemic

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Rapid Response Programme (RRP) is one of the gender responsive programme to COVID-19 of Street Child of Nepal with its consortium partners Janaki Women Awareness Society (JWAS), Aasaman Nepal (ASN) and Group of Helping Hands (SAHAS) Nepal targeting women and girls. The program included food distribution and hygiene and menstrual kits. 4000 households (HHs) were benefitted through food distribution, 2500 HHs received hygiene kits and 2500 HHs received menstrual hygiene kits, respectively. The distribution was targeted to women headed HHs, single women and persons with disabilities from Dalit communities of province 2 which covered 8 districts. Further prevention, preparedness of disaster and safeguarding and protection intervention also been intervened with the aim to reach directly or indirectly a total of 250,000 beneficiaries across 45,000 households in hard-to-reach, remote and rural parts of Province 02.

The organizations had observed the provincial government responses are insufficient and it has disproportionate impact on the Terai Dalit communities where Street Child of Nepal works with. The community who don’t have access to information, government services and have been isolated and suffering from stigmatization (>85% of families don’t have phone or radio) which make the communities more vulnerable. Also some of the households do not have documented identity. 

The RRP was designed to support the regressive Terai Dalit communities who are the sufferers of landless, stateless, oppressed, daily wage laborer with minimum access to basic services. Due to all these factors including the border issues and stereotypical mindset has increased their economic and protection risks, where COVID-19 amplified it.

Women and girls already face limited access to education, health, mobility, economy, and decision-making authority due to patriarchy and social stigmas. But due to COVID-19 there has been significantly increasing issues of child marriage, rape and gender based domestic violence. This has led to serious impact on women’s physical and mental wellbeing. This is the case of the terai Dalit women as well where they are dependent on laborer work with minimal wage.

Through the RRP, communities received food support, menstrual hygiene packages and hygiene kits which was effective to reduce economic burden and maintain healthy living. More to this, psychosocial support program was integrated to address protection risk in the same communities. The support is focused on women headed households, pregnant or lactating mother, person with disabilities and children.

Through this support we were able to make their lives better and made aware about contain of COVID-19 in the communities. Complaint response mechanism was also established to address the grievances and feedbacks for improvements in the distribution. The program is also one of the milestones to support SDG 2, 3 and 5 and supported province-2 Dalit communities in response to post COVID-19 coping mechanisms. This is the small support to make their lives more convenience. It is not life changing support but yes it has played vital role in save their lives.

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