Response to COVID-19
Nepal introduced its first lockdown measures on 24 March 2020 and has progressively been reducing them since the 12 June. The government has increased its health spending. Results are the provision of additional incentive pay and insurance coverage to all medical frontline personnel, import of additional medical supplies, and the creation of quarantine centres and temporary hospitals. Social assistance has also been strengthened as the most vulnerable are being provided with daily food rations, subsidized utility bills for low-usage customers, and measures to partially compensate those who suffer job loss.
Nepal has been a recipient of financial aid to combat the COVID-19 crisis. The IMF Executive Board approved the disbursement of US$214 million in emergency financing, the World Bank approved a fast-track $29 million COVID-19 Emergency Response and Health Systems Preparedness Project, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) today approved a $250 million concessional loan to help the Government of Nepal fund its response to the pandemic.
There are some concerns about potential mismanagement of COVID-19 resources due to previous mismanagement of the 2015 earthquake-related funds. There have been some allegations of corruption in medical procurement already. In April, the government dissolved its contract with Omni Group, the supplier of medical equipment to the government, for failing to supply the promised gear in time. Earlier, the government had bypassed the lowest bidder and awarded the contract to Omni Group.
- Online webinar-based training for journalists and CSOs on procurement corruption, data usage, open contracting and COVID-19AdvocacyAwareness raising
- Press releases to media on COVID-19 responseAdvocacyAwareness raisingMedia campaign
- Awareness raising of COVID-19 procurement corruption risks published through social media and TI Nepal websiteAwareness raisingMedia campaign
- Advocacy regarding procurement transparency and government expenditure in relation to COVID-19: Formal letters written to the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Social Development requesting the proactive disclosure of information relating to procurement expenditure and distribution of external COVID-19 aid relief funding.Advocacy
- 10-point appeal of public concern regarding COVID-19 and procurement concerns issued by TI-NepalAdvocacy