News Digest: International Relations and Foreign Affairs (May 20-26)

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Government striving for alternate means to ratify MCC

As the parliament is dissolved, the ratification of MCC is now in a precarious state. Nepali Ambassador to the US has stated that efforts are being made to ratify MCC through an alternate means. The works related to MCC have been going on and the proposal to establish a company for cross-country transmission line has already been presented before the cabinet. He also stated that MCC grant has been politicised.

Nepal seeks COVID-19 vaccines from the US

Minister of Foreign Affairs in a telephonic conversation requested the Deputy Secretary of USA to provide Nepal with COVID-19 vaccines with due priority. The response from the US government was affirmative and further stated that the key projects in the pipeline supported by the US would hopefully provide Nepal with new opportunities for prosperity. The deputy prime minister had also requested American Ambassador to Nepal to provide vaccines.

Switzerland provides essential medical supplies to Nepal

Switzerland provided 40 ventilators, oxygen concentrators, 1.1 million antigen test kits, 110,000 KN95 masks, 5000 gloves and 15000 protective suits worth 8 million US dollars to Nepal. The Swiss Ambassador handed them over to Ministry of health and population on May 22. This assistance falls under Switzerland’s comprehensive response to COVID-19 in Nepal, which began in April 2020. As of now, Switzerland has allotted 20 million US dollars to combat the pandemic in Nepal.

Emergency health equipment sent by the US has arrived in Kathmandu

US Aid had announced to provide emergency aid to Nepal on May 20. In last three weeks US Aid has sent assistance worth 25 million US dollar to Nepal to contain the pandemic. US Aid has provided 50 million US dollar worth assistance to Nepal in last 15 months.

Spain provided humanitarian aid to Nepal to combat COVID-19

Nepali Embassy in Spain received humanitarian assistance to Nepal to control surging COVID-19 cases in Nepal from the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) on May 19. The assistance arrived in Nepal on May 20 and was entrusted to Ministry of Health and Population for distribution. The assistance provided incudes ventilators, oxygen concentrators, antigen test kits, PPEs and other essential equipment worth 1 million Euros. The assistance was provided as a response to Nepal’s request for aid to European Civil Protection Mechanism and Foreign Ministry of Spain. Further, AECID together with Spanish Ministry of Health has offered Nepal’s health ministry a specialised medical training package to combat the on-going crisis.

PM requested the UK for Covid-19 vaccines

 British envoy visited PM office on May 20 after being called by PM KP Sharma Oli. In the meeting PM sought for support and cooperation to tackle the pandemic and also discussed several issues of bilateral relations.

Tibet provided 30,000 -litre liquid oxygen to Nepal

The Embassy of China in Kathmandu stated that Tibet is sending 800 oxygen cylinders filled with 30,000 litres of liquid oxygen, 10 oxygen concentrators, 5 ventilators, 200 ICU bed and 15,000 antigen kits to Nepal to tackle COVID crisis. The supplies will be sent through Tatopani border point.

Nepal established diplomatic relations with Gambia

Nepal and Gambia established diplomatic relations on May 25. The envoys of the two countries signed the joint letter informing the United Nation Secretary General about the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations. The envoys also shared the views to bolster bilateral and multilateral cooperation for the mutual benefit of the two nations.

Nepal to receive medical assistance from South Korea

South Korea is supporting Nepal by sending medical aid of 200,000 US dollars to fight against the pandemic. Non-Resident Nepali Association (NRNA)’s National Coordination Council South Korea is facilitating to make the medical aid available. The medical assistance will be sent to Nepal in coordination with the Nepali Embassy in South Korea. Korean Embassy in Kathmandu is coordinating with Nepal government for further assistance and long- term support.

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