COVID-19 has undoubtedly adversely impacted the lives of people across the globe – with many not only suffering physically but also facing significant challenges to their means of livelihood and income. It is clear that the COVID-19 pandemic has further exposed the struggle of marginalized communities’ for survival, further amplifying their burdens physically, mentally and socioeconomically.
Acknowledging the reality on the ground, Friends Service Council Nepal (FSCN) has supported a livelihood program targeted towards 42 marginalized communities, to enhance their skills and knowledge with regards to risk reduction under the COVID-19 response program. The program was implemented in Birendranagar Municipality of Surkhet District (Karnali Pradish). Firstly, coordination meetings were organized with local government and other relevant stakeholders in order to identify primary actors (PA). Following the identification and selection of primary actors, livelihood improvement training (LIP) was provided to relevant stakeholders in the livelihood sector alongside the provision of development training under the same scope to PAs.
Vendors were finalised from the local market based on the LIP and cash vouchers valued at Nrs. 25,000 were distributed to each PA. This program was implemented in the last week of March 2021 with the main beneficiaries of the cash vouchers being grocery shop owners, goat and cow farmers, home stay owner, shoemakers, and tailors.