Canada, please help Nepal overcome the COVID-19 humanitarian crisis

Canada, please help Nepal overcome the COVID-19 humanitarian crisis

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ASHA Canada started this petition to Justin Trudeau (Prime Minister) and

We are writing as citizens and permanent residents of Canada, especially on behalf of the approximately 60,000 concerned Nepali diaspora community members in Canada and hundreds of Nepali students studying here. We feel a deep affection for Nepal, and we appreciate the strong bond between Canada and Nepal. We trust that you share our alarm at the rapid escalation of COVID-19 cases in Nepal over the recent weeks.

Nepal has among the highest COVID-19 viral reproduction rates in the world with a positivity rate as high as 47% and over 9,000 daily new infections. Despite the best efforts of front-line medical workers, the health care infrastructure is overwhelmed, and the country is severely under-equipped for the scale of the current crisis. Nepal has fewer than 1,600 ICU beds. Of the 185 hospitals in Nepal, only 26 have their own oxygen plants, with many of them not in proper working condition. Patients are dying from lack of oxygen, medicine, and health care facilities. According to the Health Ministry of Nepal, new case numbers could reach 800,000 people by July 15. Nepal is facing the prospect of a very grave humanitarian crisis.

We are writing to request that Canada take a leadership role to help reduce the loss of life and suffering in Nepal due to COVID-19. Nepal urgently needs vaccines. Only 4% of the population has received at least one dose. India, which has been Nepal’s primary source of vaccines, is no longer able to provide vaccines due to its own crisis. We therefore request that the Canadian government redirect surplus vaccines to Nepal.

We also call on the Canadian government to provide emergency humanitarian aid to Nepal including oxygen producing and delivering equipment (such as bedside oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders, and liquid oxygen tanks), PPE, COVID-19 testing kits, medicine, and other essential healthcare supplies to care for people affected by COVID-19. The Nepali diaspora community will be grateful if Canada can prioritize small nations like Nepal which often tend to get sidelined in global humanitarian funding decisions. 

In addition, we ask that Canada support the United States’ proposal to waive patent protections on COVID-19 vaccines, as is being discussed at the World Trade Organization. Only when the whole world is vaccinated will the COVID-19 pandemic end, and with it, the health and economic crisis that so many of our loved ones are suffering through.

While we appreciate the $1.35 billion that Canada has committed to the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, including to COVAX, the ACT program is still short of US$19 billion to meet its US$ 38.1 billion target. We call on the Canadian government to reach deeper and to donate more and continuously to this fund. This will inspire the world community to jointly meet the ACT funding requirements to achieve vaccine equity at the global level, and to speed up vaccine delivery to hard hit countries like Nepal. We also call on Canada to endorse the new allocation commitment of US$ 650 billion through the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) for global COVID relief, and advocate that a greater proportion of this SDR funds go to low-income countries, like Nepal, who are facing acute COVID crises.  

Projections by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Research Foundation (which represents more than 45 million companies in over 100 countries) show that the failure to ensure vaccine equity internationally will result in a global GDP loss of as much as US $9.2 trillion in 2021 alone. More than half of this loss will be borne by wealthy countries, with estimated costs to Canada reaching as high as US$ 61 billion. Thus, providing direct COVID-19 relief funding to Nepal and other affected countries, and increasing contributions to ACT, will be good for Canada and the world.  

Canada and Nepal have shared a long history of friendship, and we remember with gratitude the help that Canada extended to Nepal during the 2015 earthquake. We call on you to extend the same generous help at this time of immense suffering in Nepal.

Thank you.

Non-Resident Nepali Association (Canada)

Nepal Janajati Association Canada

Nepalese Canadian Community Services

Namaste Radio 

Helping Hands Without Borders Canada

Nepal Library Foundation, Canada

Yakthung Chumlung Association of Calgary

Nepalese Community Society of Calgary

GP Koirala Foundation Canada

Nepal Cultural Society of British Columbia

Nepalese Canadian Society of Edmonton

Calgary Nepalese Community Association

ASHA Canada

 

Note: Funds donated to this petition go to Change.org, and not to Nepal. The organizers are not asking for a donation from signatories.

0 have signed. Let’s get to 5,000!
At 5,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to get picked up by local news!