NRNA calls for immediate end to blockade of essential supplies
Offers humanitarian assistance in Nepal
Representing millions of Nepalis in the diaspora hailing from Tarai/Madhesh, hills and mountains, the Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA) is deeply saddened by the grave humanitarian crisis that has resulted from political protests and demonstrations in southern Nepal and the de facto blockade of essential commodities and supplies imposed by India during the past few months.
We are sure none of the parties involved – the Madhesi/Tharu protestors, the Government of Nepal, or the Government of India intended nor expected their actions or inaction would result in such massive human suffering for such a prolonged period. Hundreds of people have died and have been injured during protests, and as a consequence of traffic accidents caused by severe fuel shortage forcing passengers including women, children and the elderly to travel in dangerously overcrowded vehicles including on the rooftops of buses. Vital social services have been disrupted; hospitals have run out of essential drugs and supplies.
According to UNICEF, more than 1.6 million children have been deprived of schooling for nearly three months. Many industries and small businesses have been closed causing serious shortage of essential supplies and services, and exacerbating the already serious unemployment in the country. Tourism has been severely disrupted during what would have been a peak season.
All of this has happened even as the people of Nepal are struggling to overcome the impact of the devastating earthquake of six months ago. The international community, including the UN, EU and many donors and stakeholders have complained that the disruption of fuel supply and other essential commodities has halted all urgent post earthquake reconstruction efforts.
In what should normally be a joyous season of festivals and family reunion, millions of Nepalis at home and abroad, including millions who live and work in India and have relatives across the border will be unable to travel to their ancestral homes and celebrate the common holidays of Deepawali and Chhat. This deplorable situation must end immediately. We especially appeal to India to immediately end its de facto blockade, as a matter of goodwill and friendship among the people of our countries especially during this shared holiday season.
We also call upon the Government of Nepal and the agitating parties to find an early resolution of all contentious issues through peaceful dialogue following proper constitutional process. The NRNA itself is stepping forward to mobilize urgent humanitarian support for the people of Nepal.
NRNA’s initiatives to assist the Humanitarian crisis in Nepal:
Immediately provide life-saving medical, surgical and humanitarian supplies to hospitals and health posts in coordination with relevant government authorities and stakeholders
Form a NRNA Crisis support team to collect and distribute blankets and other supplies to the needy people during the winter season
Continue national and international campaign for positive resolution of the crisis
International Coordination Council
Non- Resident Nepali Association