Gurkhas: Coronavirus

Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office written question – answered on 2nd June 2021.

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Photo of Lord Swinfen Lord Swinfen Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assistance they are giving to serving and retired Ghurkas and their families in Nepal to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.

Photo of Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Minister of State (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office)

We recognise the invaluable contribution Gurkhas make to our armed forces. Gurkhas serve with honour and distinction and are a vital part of our bilateral relationship. The UK-funded Gurkha Welfare Trust has ensured access to life-saving support and supplies to Gurkha veterans and their communities throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. We are also financing antigen kits for district hospitals across Nepal with distribution being done by the Gurkha Welfare Trust, and two districts have so far received these kits.

More broadly in Nepal, the UK has funded a new £180,000 duplex oxygen generation plant at the Nepal Police Hospital in Kathmandu to help address oxygen shortages to treat COVID19 patients. We are also one of the leading donors to COVAX, committing £548m to the scheme, which will provide more than a billion vaccines to developing countries including doses for almost a fifth of Nepal's population.

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