Nepal has been under lockdown since the 23rd of March 2020 to curb the spread of COVID-19. Since then it is not possible for many, due to the restrictions, to work and earn money. This has had an especially high impact on daily wage workers, piece-based workers, and people working in the informal sector as there is not a security net for them like unemployment benefits or similar allowance systems. Consequently, the need for food relief has been increasing in the country since the start of the lockdown.
Nearly 4.8 million Nepalis have worked abroad till the COVID-19 crises started. Now thousands of Nepalis have been trying to get home through the Indian border, as they have lost their jobs abroad as a side effect of the global crises. Some reports are stating that up to 3500 people are crossing the border daily after they have travelled for days with little to no access to food or water. Even after entering Nepal, a lot are stuck at the provincial border of the Karnali province due to the lack of sufficient test kits to test the high volume of people coming home to Nepal. They are forced to stay on the road in the meantime and still have no access to sufficient food, water, and other basic supplies. Efforts have started to cover the basic needs of these stranded Nepalis who have been providing for their families, childrens’ education, and continue keeping whole villages afloat with their regular remittances, but the needs are huge as there is a high number of people attempting to return.