Humanitarian Crisis in Nepal
Nepal is a country still reeling from the April 25th earthquake, which killed thousands of people. Adding to these problems, and ever since Nepal adopted a new constitution three months ago, this landlocked nation has been gripped by an ever increasing humanitarian crisis.
One major reason for the crisis is an unofficial blockade imposed by the Indian government on Nepal, and supported by the ethnic Madhesis in the south of Nepal, who have been protesting against the government and the new constitution.
The protesters have set up their own blockade at the main entry points into Nepal, where trucks carrying fuel, medicine and other vital supplies, have been barred from entering.
At the heart of the Madhesi movement is in the Nepalese border town of Birgunj, which lies next to the Indian border town of Raxaul. About 70 percent of imports from India flow through this border point, and many people also travel to India to buy fuel and other supplies to sell on the black market back in Nepal.
It is here where protesters and Madhesi supporters continue to stage protests against the government, often resulting in clashes with riot police. More than 50 people have been killed as a result of the protests.
India is Nepal’s largest trade partner, and Nepal relies heavily on imports from India, especially food, medicines and fuel.
Last month, UNICEF released a statement saying that, due to a severe shortage of fuel, food, medicines and vaccines, more than three million children under the age of five are at risk of death or disease during Nepal’s harsh winter months.
With the blockade still in place, many fear that, as the temperatures continue to drop, the situation will only worsen.
- Pray for Nepal as it seeks ways around the blockade and the resulting humanitarian crisis, especially with the oncoming winter.
- Pray for those affected by the shortages, that aid supplies will be allowed through the blockade, and food, medicine and fuel reach those who are most in need.
- Pray for the governments of India and Nepal, to come seek a resolution to the blockade that will see supplies flowing through to Nepal once more.
- Pray for resolution to the underlying political issues in Nepal, for an end to the protests and for stability in this nation.
- Pray for Nepalese Christians at this time, to show compassion to their neighbours and witness to the grace and love of God, through Jesus.
Isaiah 58 vs 6 – 7: “Is not this the fast that I choose: … Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house;”