KATHMANDU – The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. Senate on Wednesday discussed on the effect of Covid-19 pandemic in Nepal. In the committee hearing on Covid-19 pandemic and America’s international response, Senator Chris Murphey who represents Connecticut in the Senate had put up a query related to Nepal.
Senator Murphey said a population of 30 million in Nepal was at risk of the coronavirus infection and its knock-on effect. He also talked about the recent USAID support. The Connecticut Senator expressed concern saying the situation in Nepal was more vulnerable as India had stopped export of medical supplies.
Jeremy Konyndyk, the Senior Advisor coordinating agency-wide COVID efforts at USAID, said the situation in Nepal was worrying as majority of those tested for coronavirus infection had tested positive for the infection in Nepal. He added that this infection rate was comparatively high. Senior Advisor Konyndyk informed the Senate committee that additional assistance was planned for Nepal.
Nepal’s ambassador to the US, Dr Yuba Raj Khatiwada expressed happiness that Nepal’s topic was one of the agenda of the committee hearing. Talking to RSS, Ambassador Khatiwada said: “The friendly country America’s support to Nepal in the fight against the health emergency would be more important than the other types of assistance it had provided to Nepal in the past.”
According to him, the concerned agencies of the US government are informed about the latest impact of the coronavirus pandemic in Nepal and also about the need of support by various means. He added that the Nepali Embassy has requested the US government for support in that regard.
Harry Bhandari, the first legislator of Nepali origin from Maryland, has initiated a signature collection campaign to pile pressure on President Joe Biden’s administration for extending vital support to Nepal.
He has also informed the offices of Senators Chris Van Hollen and When Cardin representing Maryland regarding the latest situation in Nepal, requesting them to take initiation to call for support from the Federal Government. “We are encouraged by the initiation taken by the Senators to that end,” he added.
The United States has been providing support as medical appliances to fight against the coronavirus pandemic. USAID has provided assistance equivalent to 36.8 million USD over the last one year. The US has provided medical goods worth 3.1 million to Nepal through the Defence Department.
Some 250 million people in the USA have been vaccinated against coronavirus and it is expected that vaccines under the COVAX facility would reach Nepal in some weeks as its production has been rapidly increased.-RSS