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Most Nepalis live in relative poverty. But in 2020 the knock-on effects of COVID-19 have put the most disadvantaged in danger of starvation.


Dear members and friends

As you will know or can well imagine, hardship in Nepal has been redoubled by COVID 19.  The government reacted quickly and radically with lockdown policies and as a result the COVID incidence to date has been contained (at the time of writing circa 20,000 recorded cases and well under 100 deaths).  However probably nowhere has the economic cost of lockdown been greater.  Nepal’s economy relies on remittances from workers abroad and tourism.  Workers abroad have of course been laid off and have had to come home –incomeless- via some tough days in quarantine.  Tourists have been unable to visit.  Meanwhile there has been no let up this year in the monsoon flooding which has again taken its toll in localised disasters.

Most Nepalis live in relative poverty.  But in 2020 the knock-on effects of COVID-19 have put the most disadvantaged in danger of starvation.

The Britain-Nepal Society is not formally a charity- although this is under review.  However it has been our policy to put aside some money to help Nepal in times of exceptional emergency- as we did following the April 2015 earthquake.  Your Committee felt that this is again such a time.  We therefore agreed to release our emergency fund of £20,000 in two tranches- the first £10,000 for immediate food aid and basic PPE, and the second for hardware or some more lasting contribution.

As you will see from the accompanying photographs, we are well on the way to spending the first £10,000.  We have been fortunate in that our chairman of younger members, Kirtijai Pahari, has been on the ground in Nepal (unable of course to travel out).  With guidance and some additional financial support from one of our Vice-Presidents, Mahanta (Monty) Shreshta who is also in Nepal pending the resumption of flights, Kirtijai has partnered with two established Nepali NGOs, Animal Nepal and Sano Paila.  Together with them he organised initial relief trips to poor families with disabled members on the outskirts of Kathmandu, and then to families from the Kailali district in far western Nepal who have lost all their income with the lockdown of the local brick kilns, and also to others most in need in Birgunj.  All these families have received deliveries of rice, dhal and cooking oil plus face masks.  Your Society has also spent some of this first tranche of money in partnering AMKAS Nepal, a local NGO which is re-employing returning migrant Nepali women to produce such masks.

A further planned phase with local partnerships will see us make deliveries in one the most remote and deprived areas of all, also badly affected by seasonal floods- the Naraharinath Rural Municipality within Kalikot district in North Western Nepal. Our intervention in Naraharinath will be implemented by a local village school through an LSE alumnus who is living and working there.

Because of this local involvement, we have been able to make our modest funding stretch a long way, already providing survival essentials to hundreds of families.  But we would like to do more.  And that is why I am writing this appeal letter to you.

Ladies and gentlemen- here are the figures.

£20 (average cost as transport elements vary) will feed a family of 4 for one month (30 kgs rice, 2 kg daal, 1 kg soybean,2 litres cooking oil, 2 kgs of salt, plus 2 bars of soap and 1 pack of washing powder)

35p can buy one 3 layer cloth face mask made by returnee migrant women workers who make a profit of 25 p from each mask.

With that in mind please could I ask you to support us with whatever you can afford, so that we can mount further deliveries of cost-effective relief aid wherever in the country we can work with trusted partners.  You will see that even a modest contribution can keep a whole family alive for weeks.

We want to keep this simple.  So if you would like to contribute please just use exactly the same mechanism as for your annual subscriptions, by sending donations as follows:

  1. By Cheque made out to ‘The Britain-Nepal Society’, marked on the back as ‘Covid Relief Appeal’ and sent to Colonel R Litherland, Hon Treasurer BNS, Monkomb Farm, East Claydon, Bucks, MK18 2LF.
  2. By Digital Banking to HSBC, BNS Account No: 41386433, Sort Code: 40-04-25 with your name followed by CRA (for Covid Relief Appeal) as the reference.

But we will of course ring-fence your money and spend every penny of it directly for the appeal.  It will NOT be used to subsidise the Society’s running costs, which to date have been covered by your annual subscriptions and any surplus made from our events.

As for those events themselves, we plan several Zoom seminar/lectures in the coming months pending the return to normality for which we all long.  So please watch out for information on those  elsewhere in these pages.

With warmest best wishes, and in hope of your support


Mr A.J.Sparkes CMG


The Britain-Nepal Society