Nearly 500,000 migrants rushed across the India-Nepal border in an effort to return home to their villages after losing their jobs amidst the COVID 19 lockdown and outbreak. These workers and their families faced days of travel without food and water. Some walked for hundreds of kilometers and some swam across rivers, while others got into the back of produce trucks or packed into overcrowded buses and trains with temperatures over 100°F. After crossing the border into Nepal, they were met with strictly enforced quarantine requirements that cut off access to supplies. The situation quickly turned dire as thousands of people waited for global humanitarian organisations to arrive and distribute aid. BlinkNow was uniquely positioned to assist with this crisis because of their Nepali team and the relationships they’ve spent years building with the local community and government. This allowed them to quickly fill the gap between the immediate need of the migrant workers and the large-scale interventions of international aid organisations.
Donations received for the migrant crisis response went to use immediately on purchase of food, water, and medical supplies to distribute to migrant families. They quickly scaled-up capacity by renting vehicles to transport supplies and recruiting additional volunteers, tirelessly collaborating with other organisations and the Nepali government to pack and distribute food and supplies to the migrant workers as quickly and efficiently as possible. Because of these efforts, they were able to reach over 26,189 migrant workers and family members with emergency supplies by meeting 1,883 busses with water and food and delivering care packages to 509 camps.