To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps he is taking to provide covid-19 related support to Nepal.
23 June 2021
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the British Embassy in Kathmandu has reprioritised over £40 million of its development budget including: the construction of an oxygen plant in a Kathmandu hospital; technical advice to local government on managing the impact of COVID-19; water, sanitation and hygiene facilities to support around 400,000 people; safe spaces for women in isolation centres; cash and voucher assistance for the most vulnerable; and nutrition support for pregnant and lactating women. In response to the second wave of COVID-19 the UK has also donated 260 ventilators and various pieces of personal protective equipment as well as constructing an oxygen plant in Kathmandu.
With regards to vaccines, the UK is a leading donor to COVAX, having committed £548 million to the scheme. COVAX has delivered 348,000 doses to Nepal so far and another tranche is expected in the coming months. As G7 chair this year the UK has also secured a commitment to donate 1 billion vaccine doses to the developing world by June 2022, including 100 million donated by the UK. The majority of these doses will be donated to COVAX. As shareholders and contributors to both the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank, the UK has also pushed hard for multilateral organisations to provide finance to countries for vaccine procurement, including Nepal. The World Bank has now made at least $75 million available to the Government of Nepal for that purpose; a further $165 million will soon be proposed to the board of the Asian Development Bank, which the UK will also support.