The Ministry of Defence supports the work of the Gurkha Welfare Trust through the provision of an annual grant in aid. In the last three years this has amounted to:
|(1) A carry over of funds from the previous year meant that less money than originally budgeted was required by the trust in 2006-07|
This money contributes to the administrative costs of the trust's Gurkha Welfare Scheme in Nepal and enables the MOD to fulfil its obligations to pay pensions and deal with welfare issues for serving soldiers in the more remote regions of Nepal.
The Gurkha Welfare Trust is a registered charity, independent of the Ministry of Defence. It only formally reports to the Ministry of Defence on the expenditure of the grant. However, it is the Department's view that the trust, through its field arm, the Gurkha Welfare Scheme, conducts invaluable work in Nepal, including the payment of welfare pensions to the Gurkha ex-servicemen and widows who do not qualify for a service pension. It provides, free of charge, even in the most remote areas of Nepal where ex-servicemen live, primary health care including doctors' clinics. In addition it provides secondary health care free for all those not in receipt of a service pension and subsidised by 70 per cent. for those who do have a pension. It is involved in delivering community aid including bridge building, drinking water projects and building schools, which benefits not only the ex-service community but the infrastructure of the country as a whole in the brigade's traditional recruiting areas in the foothills of Nepal.
The grant in aid is provided by the Department under the terms of a Memorandum of Understanding. The terms of the arrangement are reviewed every five years.