The global pandemic has changed so much over the last 18 months, many of our hopes and plans have had to be set aside. While we’re no longer surprised by the need to be adaptable, that doesn’t mean missed events aren’t hugely disappointing.
Sadly, the pressure on government funding has led to painful decisions about UK aid spending. At EMMS International, we’re grateful that the UK government has reiterated its promise to match donations to the Every Girl Matters appeal. However, this funding will now be delayed.
For EMMS International and our partners, INF Nepal, the delay and uncertainty are as serious as a cut to funding. Particularly during the pressures of responding to the continued covid crisis. Mr Krishna Adhikari, Executive Director of INF Nepal writes:
"The unexpected delay in funding will affect our service delivery as we will struggle to keep even baseline services going, although EMMS International has kindly said that they will support from their reserves. Without this, the number of people helped would be zero this year, but with EMMS support we shall keep our palliative care unit going. Other new initiatives that seek to improve palliative care access to rural areas and give particularly girl carers more options to continue their education will, however, be delayed until the project can start."
We understand that our governments are having to make incredibly difficult decisions. We all feel the pressures brought about by the global pandemic. However, some are far more vulnerable to these pressures and the impact of the decisions being made.
If the delay goes ahead, then many palliative care patients and their families in rural Nepal who should have benefitted from this project starting in July won’t benefit from planned improvements in specialist care.
This is because these patients will die before they can receive access to improved care which relieves pain, reduces poverty and allows young girl carers to stay in school.
Our plea for people in Nepal
We have shared our grave concerns with the UK government about the impact this will have on the lives of those we’d planned to help. Put simply, the people we help can’t wait.
So far, the UK government has exceptionally agreed to sign the grant agreement as soon as we have finalised all required documentation. This is good news, but the project start date is still delayed to April 2022. We are continuing to make the case to bring the start date of our project forward to October 2021.
Continued commitment while we wait
Throughout this pandemic and the Every Girl Matters appeal we’ve been so encouraged by the continued generosity of our supporters. Kindness shared without delay, to help those who need it most.
This delay adds administrative burden for EMMS and INF Nepal as we reschedule and rebudget to accommodate the uncertainty. Regardless, we remain committed to protecting frontline health services from the impact of this delay, using our reserves to do so where necessary. We are also supporting Green Pastures Hospital through the current COVID-19 crisis thanks to the generous donations made to the Share the Hope appeal.
Once again, we want to reassure all those who have given to the Every Girl Matters appeal that the UK government has repeated its commitment to matching your donations. We look forward to sharing the final total of the appeal in the coming month and we’ll continue to keep you updated on how your donations are making a difference.